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ICJ orders Israel to immediately halt its military incursion in Rafah

ICJ orders Israel to immediately halt its military incursion in Rafah
A protester draped in a Palestinian flag holds a protest sign in support of Palestinians in Gaza outside the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, on 24 May 2024, the day of the ruling on South Africa's request to order a halt to Israel's Rafah offensive in Gaza. (Photo: REUTERS/Johanna Geron)

The World Court has ordered that Israel immediately cease its military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, and that it allow ‘unhindered provision’ of humanitarian aid and assistance to the Gaza Strip.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Friday 24 May 2024, ordered Israel to immediately halt its military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, referring to the humanitarian situation in Rafah as “disastrous.”

Read more in Daily Maverick: Israel-Palestine War

“The court considered that, in conformity with the obligations under the Genocide Convention, Israel must immediately halt its military offensive and any other action in the Rafah governate which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life which could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part,” said the body’s President Judge Nawaf Salam. 

In its application to the ICJ on 10 May, South Africa had requested that the court order Israel to immediately withdraw from and cease its military incursion in Rafah. But, presenting its case to the court on 17 May, South Africa urged the court to reassert its authority and order Israel to cease its military operations throughout the Gaza Strip. 

Arguing before the court, South Africa’s high-powered legal team had said that Israel’s military incursion in Rafah was “the last step in the destruction of Gaza and its Palestinian people”.

South African Ambassador to the Netherlands Vusimuzi Madonsela at the International Court of Justice, during a ruling on South Africa’s request to order a halt to Israel’s Rafah offensive in Gaza in The Hague, Netherlands, on 24 May 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Johanna Geron)

‘Characterised as disastrous’

While the ICJ did not order a full cessation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip on Friday, it agreed with South Africa that the situation in the enclave had deteriorated since its orders of 26 January and 28 March 2024, and that the provisional measures ordered by the court in March did not fully address the situation in the Gaza Strip now.

“The court notes that the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip which, as stated in its order of 26 January 2024, was at serious risk of deteriorating, has deteriorated, and has done so even further since the court adopted its order of 28 March 2024. In this regard, the court observes that the concerns that it expressed in its decision communicated to the Parties on 16 February 2024 with respect to the developments in Rafah have materialised, and that the humanitarian situation is now to be characterised as disastrous,” said Judge Salam.

The airstrikes and missile attacks that continue to devastate the Gaza Strip have killed more than 35,500 Palestinians and wounded more than 80,000, according to the health ministry. The revised death toll in Israel from Hamas’ 7 October attack is 1,139, with more than 120 still held captive in Gaza.

Judge Nawaf Salam, president of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), presides during a ruling on South Africa’s request to order a halt to Israel’s Rafah offensive in Gaza, as part of a larger case brought before the Hague-based court by South Africa accusing Israel of genocide, on 24 May 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Johanna Geron)

Ordered to open Rafah crossing

On Friday, the court further ordered Israel to open and maintain the Rafah border crossing for the “unhindered provision at scale of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance”. 

Additionally, it ordered Israel to “take effective measures to ensure the unimpeded access to the Gaza Strip of any commission of inquiry, fact-finding mission or other investigative body mandated by competent organs of the United Nations to investigate allegations of genocide”.

The United Nations (UN) had noted that some 1.5 million Palestinians were sheltering in Rafah — making it one of the most densely populated areas on Earth — when Israel’s military began its ground incursion in the city on 7 May. 

The UN estimates that 800,000 Palestinians have been displaced from Rafah, as at 18 May. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: Israel to expand military operation in Rafah; Yellen red-flags threat to cut off Palestinian banks

Before Israel concluded its argument before the court on 18 May, German Judge Georg Nolte had asked Israel to provide information on the humanitarian conditions in its designated evacuation zones, in particular, Al Mawasi, “and how it would ensure safe passage to these zones” and the provision of humanitarian aid and assistance to all Palestinian evacuees. 

Israel provided an eight-page response to Nolte’s question, which the Court found on Friday to be insufficient. (South Africa’s lawyers, by contrast, filed a 61-page response to Israel’s argument.) 

British jurist Malcolm Shaw and Yaron Wax look on at the ICJ, during a ruling on South Africa’s request to order a halt to Israel’s Rafah offensive in Gaza on 24 May 2024. REUTERS/Johanna Geron

‘Not sufficiently addressed concerns’

“On the basis of the information before it, the court is not convinced that the evacuation efforts and related measures that Israel affirms to have undertaken to enhance the security of civilians in the Gaza Strip, and in particular those recently displaced from the Rafah Governorate, are sufficient to alleviate the immense risk to which the Palestinian population is exposed as a result of the military offensive in Rafah,” read the order. 

“The court observes that Israel has not provided sufficient information concerning the safety of the population during the evacuation process, or the availability in the Al-Mawasi area of the necessary amount of water, sanitation, food, medicine and shelter for the 800,000 Palestinians that have evacuated thus far. Consequently, the Court is of the view that Israel has not sufficiently addressed and dispelled the concerns raised by its military offensive in Rafah,” it continued. 

South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation Director-General, Zane Dangor welcomed the court’s decision. 

“The court essentially ordered Israel to halt its operations in the Rafah area to ensure no further harm comes to Palestinians as a result of Israel’s military actions and the denial of lifesaving food and medication in that area and the whole of Gaza,” he said. 

“This order is groundbreaking as it is the first time that explicit mention is made for Israel to halt its military action in any part of Gaza – this time specifically in Rafah. 

“While legally the court could not use the term ceasefire… this is de facto calling for a ceasefire. It is ordering the major party in the conflict to end its belligerent action against the people of Palestine,” Dangor continued. 

Welcoming the ICJ ruling president Cyril Ramaphosa said: “We are gravely concerned that Israel has restricted necessary levels of aid from entering Gaza and has systematically targeted aid and aid infrastructure within Gaza.

“This case is thus focused on the ordinary Palestinians in Gaza who are now facing their seventh month of suffering through collective punishment for something for which they have no individual responsibility.”

“We call on all State Parties to observe the prescripts of international law, which obliged them to reconsider their relations with Israel following the Court findings.

“Under international law, Israel is obliged to implement the Court’s Order, as well as the previous orders of 26 January (as reaffirmed by the Court on 16 February) and 28 March. Similarly under international law, the prohibition on genocide is a peremptory norm from which no derogation is permitted, for any reason whatsoever,” said President Ramaphosa.

The ICJ order follows the decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan earlier this week, to seek warrants of arrest for both Hamas leaders and top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, for war crimes and crimes against humanity. DM


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  • J vN says:

    Yeah and Israel is going to obey immediately….

    Hamas started the war.

    Israel is going to finish it.

    • John P says:

      This war started in 1947, only negotiations will finish it.

      • Noel Soyizwaphi says:

        Yes, yes, yes, only talks will end this war. Grievances of the Palestinian people will not just evaporate. Destroying Hamas will not address the problems.

      • Mark Ditto says:

        What makes you say the war started in 1947, the British Mandate came to an end in 1947, prior to that there had been a civil war for decades.
        A proper war started in 1948 the day after Israel declared independence when they were attacked by at least 5 muslim arab countries ( I wonder how many Israeli’s would have survived if the arabs had won, probably none).
        At this stage I dought a negotiated settlement will bring peace to the region, there have been numerous attempts and all have been rejected by the Palestinians.
        I think its impossible to negotiate with terrorist organisations whose religious doctorine calls for your complete annihilation.
        Before there can be a peaceful solution the Palestinians need to realise that they are just pawns being played by the Islamic States to create a worldwide caliphate, this could take generations…

        • Jane Crankshaw says:

          Well said Mark Ditto!

        • John P says:

          Apologies you are correct, 1948 not 1947. Not only the year that modern Israel came into being but also the year of the Nakba. The forced removal of around 750,000 Palestinians and the killing of over 15,00. Firstly by Jewish settlers and then by the newly created IDF. Mostly very European Caucasian settlers. So let’s see, the forced settlement of Arab lands by European settlers, I wonder if that had something to do with attacks by surrounding Muslim countries?
          Negotiations have been rejected by both Israel and Palestine over the years for differing reasons. That does not mean they cannot succeed if both sides truly desire a peaceful outcome. The Irish, the ANC, Swapo and more were all considered terrorist organisations but all those wars have ended with negotiations.

          • Craig King says:

            Their opening bid is for the destruction of Israel and the eradication of the Jews. What should the Israeli bid be?

          • David Jeannot says:

            Mark is correct on who started the war in 1948. In addition, while you often refer to the Nakba, there were roughly an equal number of Mizrachi Jews who were expelled out of Arab states. Close to one million Jews were evicted from their homes in Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Yemen (etc.) and they were absorbed into the population of Israel. None of them were given perpetual refugee status for themselves nor their offspring. I also highlight that today, Israel has an Arab population of 20% whom, in a recent survey (Reference: The Economist) outlines that two thirds align with the state of Israel.

            I do agree that negotiations are a way forward but it can not be with Hamas, article 7 of their founding charter is the reason why.

      • Charles Burrows says:

        How do you negotiate with terrorists that’s sole goal and existence is to eliminate the entire Israeli race. No negotiations won’t work and never have since the beginning. What will make them work this time?

        • Kanu Sukha says:

          Not just anti-semitism .. but nazism also … while the real nazi’s continue to arm the occupier ! Pressure on the US will (like Israeli regime – peas of the same pod) NOT work because the US ‘regime’ is driven by hubris (Beinart) . Our only hope is for the ‘youth’ there to counter genocide Joe and fascist Trump hubris of thinking they ‘own the world’ ! Bernie (remarkably a Jew) in the white house seems to be only sane voice amongst the politicians. Some of our misguided Zionist defenders here, could go and take some ‘lessons’ from him !

    • R T says:

      I think you need to read the order more carefully. It does not state that Israel must cease its incursion into Rafah as clearly as you allude to.

  • John P says:

    Israel of course will ignore this order and probably accuse the court of antisemitism as will there army of keyboard warriors.
    Hopefully sufficient pressure will now be placed upon the USA that they now put pressure on Israel and that a situation can be created that leads to a long term negotiated settlement for the region.

    • Mark Ditto says:

      Of course Israel will ignore it, the terrorist are still holding Israeli civilians (including babies and children) as hostages, even though they have been instructed to release the hostages by the same court.

      • Alan Watkins says:

        Have Hamas been ordered to release the hostages. I did not see that in the ruling and my internet searches turned up nothing like this. And if you are wrong then that is the big flaw in the ruling. If the ruling WAS for Hamas to release all hostages immediately and for Israel to cease operations they might just be a chance for peace that MIGHT one day under a different Israeli government lead to negotiations for a two state solution that Palestine could be pressured to accept. And the discovery of I think 7 dead hostages in last few days, some of whom were previously thought to be alive leads to the conclusion that a lot, may be most, maybe all of the hostages are in fact dead. Will there still be sympathy for Gazans after that? Initially I was very sympathetic to the plight of the Gazans but after he world wide protests something struck me; where were the protests IN gaza calling on Hamas, for the love of God, to release all the hostages if only so that Gazans lives might be saved?

        • Bee Man says:

          Agree 100%
          This shows the rabid mindset of these terrorists… and their blind followers

        • Kanu Sukha says:

          ‘Hostages’ ? You mean the thousands of Palestinian ones in Israeli jails for at least the last 50+ years ?

        • John P says:

          Hamas were called on to release the hostages in the original ICJ ruling in this matter.
          Regretfully there are probably no hostages left to return, killed by Hamas, starvation, lack of medical care and by the IDF during the mass indiscriminate bombing and other military actions.
          If the situation had been handled differently instead of Netanyahu being hell bent on revenge perhaps earlier negotiations would have resulted in most of the hostages being returned.

    • Mr OK says:

      A Negotiated settlement with a (designated) terrorist organisation Hamas is desirable for all parties? The irony is they have no real intention of a lasting peace with Israel. hamas are clear about that part.
      They are getting their buts kicked and want to survive by any means possible.
      No matter what side of the fence you sit on it’s hard to not see the obvious conflict of interest of having a Lebanese Muslim judge at the ICJ presiding in this case.
      Considering Lebanon is basically under rule of Hezbollah (another designated terrorist organisation) who are a direct proxy of Iran, launching daily barrages of rockets into Israel.
      You’re correct Israel will ignore this ruling and continue with its mission to defeat Hamas and bring back its hostages from Gaza.
      You called it correctly, Israel will ignore the ruling and the antisemitism accusations will be levelled against its detractors. Quite rightly too.
      Since you’re not Jewish or believe in Zionism nor do you care for the survival of Israel and its citizens it’s plain to see which side of the fence you sit. I don’t think you’re antisemitic as per your numerous comments on the matter, but you’re definitely anti Israel and anti Zionism.
      You have an in-depth understanding of what’s going on in the region but you strangely support terrorism as a legitimate means to achieve peace? Maybe it’s because deep down you do in fact hate a certain group of people…..

      • Dietmar Horn says:

        Very well observed! To be fair, however, one has to admit that the Israeli government under Netanyahu is making things extremely difficult for Israel’s supporters in the world. It was not without reason that he was warned about the USA’s mistakes after 9/11. to commit. Netanyahu and the religious hardliners in Israel are just as much of a challenge to liberal democracies as Trump, Orban and other right-wing populists. Many people do not seem to understand that global power politics is based on the pattern of chess. The real masterminds are in Beijing, Washington and Moscow (as well as two former ones in London and Paris who still believe they are in the game due to their veto power). What has so far prevented a negotiated peace based on a two-state solution, in addition to the settlement policy in the West Bank, is the sovereignty claim of religious fundamentalists on both sides to the holy sites in Jerusalem. International courts, like all states without the right to veto, are just pawns in the global chess game. Things become difficult for the big players when some of their pawns succumb to the temptation to play king themselves.

      • Kanu Sukha says:

        Continue with the US and (slowly decreasing) western allies (constituting no more than 10% of the world population) labelling and demonising those you disapprove of as “terrorist/s” (like they did Mandela) and you will eventually realise what profs Chomsky, Shlaim et al (Jewish) did a long time ago … that the greatest “terrorist” state in the world is the US ! Horoshima, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan to name just a few … are not just ‘accidents’ in recent human history.

      • Kanu Sukha says:

        At least you seem to understand that being Jewish and being a Zionist are distinct. Maybe time to expand your notion of the distinction of the Zionist ‘regime’ and Israel, and Israeli people… of which Gideon Levy et al are a part ? OR on the other hand I forgot they are “self-hating” Jews !

    • Malcolm McManus says:

      Not just USA pressure will lead to negotiated resolution. Countries like Iran who back Hamas will need to be pressured too. There are similarities between this war and Ukraine, much like other wars. Israel, Palestine and Ukraine are all cannon Fodder for the interests of Super powers on different sides of these conflicts.

      • John P says:

        Yes indeed, there are countries on both sides of this conflict that need to get out of the way and let Israel and Palestine reach a settlement.

  • Wing Nut says:

    ….court further ordered Israel to open and maintain the Rafah border crossing…
    ….Israel to “take effecti
    The court observes that Israel has not provided sufficient information concerning the safety of the population during the evacuation process….
    The court essentially ordered Israel to halt its operations in the Rafah area to ensure no further harm comes to Palestinians as a result …..

    I read the article twice over and seems I missed the order about the hostages to be handed back to their families….

    • John P says:

      Perhaps because that was not the case before the court? If a nation brings a case before the ICC that the hostages must be released, and they issued this order, would your comment be that they had not ordered Israel to withdraw back to the 1967 borders?

    • Shaun Pastor says:

      Ok, let me see if I can further clarify the situation. Russia INVADES a neighboring country, Ukraine, for NO reason and the news outlets are all over it. Then to move the focus away from it they send their Terrorist friends, Hamas to go and kill people and detain hostages in Israel. Then with the help of there very weak, incompetent friend in the cANCer, they get the ICJ to send daily focus-group reports to the news outlets so that the world focus’ on the completely legitimate retaliation of a country trying to eliminate the terrorists and get there hostages back. While everyone is so focused on the battle in Gaza, EVERYONE forgets that Russia, who the ICJ cannot touch works there evil in destroying a country that did nothing as far as I can tell to get wiped from the map. Better?

      • Mike Lawrie says:

        You have put it very clearly.

        • Kanu Sukha says:

          Have you considered becoming a pastor (and the ‘special’ evangelism – called blind stupidity – that goes with it) which Pastor obviously has ? A match made in heaven… or is it the other place below ?

      • Charl Van Til says:

        You left out that the ICj ordered Russia out of Ukraine in March 2022. Not only has that been ignored for over 2 years, but not a peep out of the SA government about that fact.

      • Malcolm McManus says:

        Russia is a bit different. There were agreements with Russia and NATO countries that they would not expand NATO nations to the East. Despite this agreement NATO continued to expand. Ukraine was the last straw since NATO had been talking to Ukraine about them joining NATO. Ukraine previously a country with nukes, could have become a threat to Russia, very much like Cuba was a big threat to USA during the Cuban missile crisis. Once again proxy wars because of super powers.

    • Graeme de Villiers says:

      Well said Mr Nut

    • Troy Marshall says:

      A tiny community you have here, all like minded, agreeing with each-other, ignoring the new narrative. I suppose it’s comforting.

    • Alexis Kriel says:

      That’s right! I read it twice as well. Victoria O’Regan has failed to mention this. I wonder why? A bit bias against Israel? Let Israel give Hamas one week to return the hostages first, and if they don’t, carry on with the offensive in Rafah.

    • Sydney Kaye says:

      Those orders you mention were another serious factual flaw in the finding, since the Rafah border was closed by Egypt not Israel. Also Israel has moved nearly a million people out of harms way in 3 weeks, so it’s hard to see how they come to the conclusion that nothing is being done for the safety of the population. But then again the accomodation may have not been up to the standards demanded by Israel’s eternal critics. .

  • Alan Salmon says:

    This decision of the ICJ is like finding Britain guilty of killing Germans at the end of WW2.
    This is a war, which was started by Hamas, and Israel needs to finish it.

  • Lil Mars says:

    I can’t find where it says that Hamas must stop bombing Israel and return the hostages. I also was under the impression that Egypt shut the Rafah crossing. It is their border. ICJ is a farce.

    • Malcolm McManus says:

      True, You can hardly expect Israel not to defend against attack no matter where it comes from, particularly when Hamas always starts the attacks like October 7th which continue unabated.

    • TS HIGGO says:

      What’s interesting about the ruling is that international law permits a country to defend itself… Here we have the ICJ ruling against that right… I’d be interested to know from a legal expert whether the ICJ have the legal durisdiction to overrule recognized international laws ??

      • Kanu Sukha says:

        As a layman, I thought defending yourself as a country happens in ‘your country’ and not in someone else’s country ? I think most Americans think ‘American law’ is ‘International law’ because they certainly behave that way ? Thank goodness for a few people like Bernie Sanders who knows the difference !

        • Noel Soyizwaphi says:

          Well, the powerful will want us to believe that the best form of defense is to attack. I wonder if South Africa could not get the ICJ to make an arms embargo order as their next move, as an attempt to stop this war at the source.

      • Dietmar Horn says:

        The ICJ has not demanded that Israel cease its activities in Gaza, but rather that it halt the current offensive in Rafah. Legally, this is a very big difference and you should read very carefully before parroting the propaganda of one side or the other. Israel’s right to self-defense as such is not restricted by this ruling. Anyone who condemns or applauds such judgments has not understood the meaning and purpose of justice and is only using them for their own propaganda.

        • L T. says:

          Bernie Saunders. That old has- been trying to be a spokesperson for the woke Democrats. No one in America takes him seriously. But you, on the tip of Africa, you think he’s somebody? What a joke.

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      So Lil .. why is it that even the Zionist supporting BBC and CNN can show us the satellite pictures of the before and after, across Gaza showing vast areas of Palestinian buildings (residential mainly) reduced to rubble (with US bombs) … but no such evidence of ‘destruction’ in or across Israel ? Maybe it is because of the ‘cheapskate’ (useless?) Palestinian rockets ? Imagine if the Palestinians could get those real American bombs ! Playing ‘victim’ has lost its ‘magic’ these days it seems .. but obviously not for you ?

  • Troy Marshall says:

    Israeli apologists, why do they never address the root cause – decades spent denying Palestinians their liberty and their right to statehood
    Israeli apologists, why do they never address the building of settlements on Palestinian land?
    Israeli apologists, don’t understand the disgust at assertations that Palestinians should move to other countries that have space?
    Israeli apologists, expecting a peaceful co-existence with those subjected to a military occupation?
    Israeli apologists, blaming the oppressed for the rise of extremists.
    Israeli apologists, non-signatories of the Rome Statutes, contemptuous of the UN, yet cry foul when the international community unites in disgust.

    I wonder if Netanyahu is a double agent : his actions have captured international attention and focused minds like never before.

  • Mark Ditto says:

    If you read the headline and the 1st paragraph of this article you would think the court has ordered Israel to cease all military operations in Gaza.
    But you actually have to read the third paragraph carefully to understand this is not what the court ordered.
    Many people skim or speed read articles, and as one of our ministers said “many South Africans read without comprehension”, I hate to think what percentage of readers will think Israel has been ordered to cease its military offensive.
    The court also mentions (as it did in a previous court order) that it cannot order a cease to only one of the belligerents.
    I notice DG Dagnor is lying on twitter.

  • cjg grobler says:

    And South Africa with the worst murder rate in the world and a country that is making war om its own people by systematically destroying its own infrastructure as it is war took this case to the ICJ (4 times !!)

  • Ismail Fredericks says:

    South Africa and the ICJ are like a Monty Python movie. Iran paid some people who were never at risk of winning an IQ competition to go to a court and make false charges. The court then issued rulings that are more open to interpretation than a Nostradamus prophecy. I also note that no one knows how to count and the casualty figures have been concocted by Enid Blyton and noddy

    • John P says:

      A lot of speculation there with not a shred of proof offered

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      Hiroshima, Vietnam, Iraq, and more recently Afghanistan (to name just a few!) are indeed your ‘cartoon’ characters ! Who sent you that Social Media message/s about Iranian ‘payments’ .. oh I forget it must be our old apartheid regime agents (who were and probably still are after 30 years … great buddies of Israel) … who I mistakenly thought were dead. Congrats on keeping them alive.

  • Michael Bowes says:

    While the ICJ has nothing to say about accounting for the hostages, it’s pronouncements are worthless; significantly, the ICJ condones and legitimize hostage capture. This raises the level of danger for all civilized people.

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      Ah yes … like the Israeli call on all ‘civilised’ nations to reject the ruling … by which they mean ‘western’ countries (10% of world population!) …and the ‘rest’ (90%) are heathens … not like the ‘chosen’ people !

  • EK SÊ says:

    “This case is thus focused on the ordinary Palestinians in Gaza who are now facing their seventh month of suffering through collective punishment for something for which they have no individual responsibility.”
    So the Israeli victims of the 7th is responsible?
    Palestinians ARE Hamas. The only innocents in Gaza are children with irresponsible & indoctrinated parents.

  • Malcolm McManus says:

    A futile order. The invasion of Rafah has to go ahead to get rid of Hamas.
    The one thing I notice from visuals in Palestine with the palestinian’s rushing to get food aid is a number of the people scrambling for food are in fact fat. It seems they are not facing starvation yet as has been widely reported and this narrative being presented by South Africa. Just look next time you see correspondence and footage of this in the media. From what I see from a broad perspective on this war from many varying news outlets globally with differing views, is although there is obviously extremely high human casualty in this conflict, Israel is definitely doing as much as they can to avoid death and casualties amongst civilians, although its likely many civilians would be also trying to protect and hide Hamas fighters from much evidence of this. Unfortunately in an urban war, where Hamas terrorists fight and hide amongst civilians, it is an impossible task for the IDF to avoid high civilian casualties. Lets hope after the Rafah conflict, things will simmer down somewhat, but it looks like Hamas are moving back into previously cleared up areas, so it doesn’t look like a short term operation. At the end of the day both sides of this conflict need meaningful dialogue and give and take to achieve lasting peace. This decades old conflict needs to end and backers of both sides need to find common ground to help with peace efforts.

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      Have you considered becoming an IDF spokesperson ? The hasbara pays handsomely too ! BUT it does play havoc with your morality/ethics though… having to lie through your teeth ALL the time.

    • David Jeannot says:

      Well said Sir. Unfortunately, the media gloss over this and fixated on the terrible images resulting from the war. A key feature is that the media often reference Hamas’s casualty figures with little noticeable scrutiny while every action Israel does is assessed under a magnifying glass. The UN have however, quietly halved their tally of women and children reported to have died, stating that the previous “statistics” were unreliable. In addition, any notable military officer with experience in urban warfare will objectively state that the militant to civilian ratio of Israel’s operation in Gaza far supersedes previous operations, Mosul being a prime example.

  • The lack of understanding of basic geopolitics in these comments is astonishing to say the least…

  • Lourens Botha says:

    South Africa is a pawn in a very serious game of legitimising terrorism. The message to the world is that you can go and hide behind civillians and act out the most despicable acts of terrorism and the world will eventually back you because your strategy works. As for the distinguishing between the ordinary citizens of Gaza and Hamas – how should one then think about the thousands of looters from Gaza that descended on the area Oct 7 who were ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR TAKING HOSTAGES. This is one of the reasons why Hamas cannpot return all hostages as they DO NOT HAVE all of them and probably does not even know where they are. Google 26-year-old Noa Argamani if you do not believe this. Then axactly how neutral is the general public who spit on the body of Shani Louk paraded on the back of a bakkie through the streets of Gaza?

    Then there is the very serious problem behind intenational Islamism of which Gaza is just one instance. Go look at how it is endangering life in Europe and the UK before you just consider the issue of Rafah. “Our” legal team choose to ignore so much and history will judge each of them very harshly.

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      You are right in your opening statement … because none other than a Jewish professor Chomsky has called the US the ‘greatest terrorist state’ in the world . Did you think Hiroshima, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan (to name just a few) were just accidents ?

    • Lil Mars says:

      Seeing children spit on the body of Shani Louk is one of the most traumatising images I’ve seen. When you seen children carrying guns and celebrating the deaths of Jews it makes it hard to believe peace will be possible in this lifetime.

  • Kb1066 . says:

    Who is going to enforce this ruling. Logically South Africa should send the SANDF into Rafah to enforce this ruling. That is of course if they can find Gaza.

  • Wayne Stepanik says:

    I wonder who is paying for the bankrupt ANC’s bankrupt case against Israel? Probably that bastion of human rights Iran. There is no genocide in Gaza, just civilian casualties caused by shielding methods used by the fundamentally evil Hamas. The only thing that would inexorably lead to genocide (of Jews) is if Hamas and Hezbollah are allowed survive. Israel knows this, as do the countries which surround it, as does every person who speaks up for and supports Hamas.

    • Gordon Cyril says:

      South Africa brought the genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in return for bribes from Iran, a group of 160 lawyers has alleged.

      In a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the lawyers say that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) experienced a sudden financial turnaround after it launched the ICJ case, a fact that warrants an inquiry under America’s anti-corruption Magnitsky Act.

  • Bob Dubery says:

    There is no organisation to enforce ICJ decisions. This, presumably, is left to UN member states. So nothing will happen here.

    Two possible outcomes
    1) Israel loses international support (but really it only needs to retain the support of one country)
    2) the UN slides into irrelevance.

    Possibly both will happen. (2) will take time, but if its members ignore or selectively ignore it’s decisions, then what is its point?

  • Geoff Coles says:

    The ICJ President comes from Lebanon, the Chief Prosecutor a Moslem, as is the SA Foreign Minister and Director General….. somewhat disturbing, and potentially slanted decisions and it will undoubtedly aid Hamas.


    Sounds like a movie. The bully keeps bashing the “weak” guy who secretly starts training. Then the day came where he WACKED the bully. Now the bully wants to cry and expect sympathy – which he gets from the world’s woke community.

  • Troy Marshall says:

    Israel keeps on building settlements on a lands that don’t belong to it. If EFF threats to expropriate land become reality, will Israeli apologists be supportive?

  • Graeme Bird says:

    The majority of the comments here are completely missing the point and they reflect the same blatant ignorance of the actual order by the ICC as shown by Israel and the US. For clarity the ruling, which was issued after evidence had been submitted by Israel in their defence, was supported in a 12 vs 2 majority ruling by the most highly regarded judges in the world when it comes to interpreting and identifying crimes against humanity. So do yourselves a favour and read it before spewing your biased opinions and historical interpretations of the Palestinian conflict. Ultimately it’s not for ‘Europeans’ from the colonies like yourselves and Europe itself (excluding Spain, Ireland, Norway and Sweden) to decide when and where rulings from legitimately established international bodies such as the UN, the ICC and the ICJ are accepted. Like white men, ‘Europeans’ need to accept that their dominance in the past has been unfair and prejudicial to the rest of the world. It’s no longer their apparently pre-ordained right to dictate what the majority of the WORLD wants or has voted for, or has ruled on. Wake up!

  • Graeme Bird says:

    The majority of the comments here are completely missing the point and they reflect the same blatant ignorance of the actual order by the ICC as shown by Israel and the US. For clarity the ruling, which was issued after evidence had been submitted by Israel in their defence, was supported in a 12 vs 2 majority ruling by the most highly regarded judges in the world when it comes to interpreting and identifying crimes against humanity. So do yourselves a favour and read it before spewing your biased opinions and historical interpretations of the Palestinian conflict. Ultimately it’s not for ‘Europeans’ from the colonies like yourselves and Europe itself (excluding Spain, Ireland, Norway and Sweden) to decide when and where rulings from legitimately established international bodies such as the UN, the ICC and the ICJ are accepted. Like white men, ‘Europeans’ need to accept that their dominance in the past has been unfair and prejudicial to the rest of the world. It’s no longer their apparently pre-ordained right to dictate what the majority of the WORLD wants or has voted for, or has ruled on. Wake up!

  • Wendy White says:

    Our government should keep its nose out of other peoples business. Their hypocrisy is mind blowing. They go after Israel while at the same time ignoring their friend Russia doing exactly the same thing in Ukraine. They would do better to concentrate on improving conditions for poor South Africans.

    The UN has a great deal to answer for here too. The UN is supposed to be neutral, but they are the largest employer in Gaza, including employing terrorists that took part in the Hamas massacre of Jews in Israel.

    Aid should be a temporary measure to help populations get back on their feet during war or natural disasters. It should not be used to permanently support a totally unviable population like the Palestinians. The Palestinians only exist because the rest of the world makes donations to the UN for them. This allows their population to increase way beyond the carrying capacity of the land that they occupy, making it an open ended commitment for the rest of the world to the detriment of the needs of victims of real natural disasters.

    I firmly believe that before the UN hands out aid, in any country or situation, they should insist on compulsory contraception for the recipients. By allowing refugees to have children they are compounding the problem. The world is sick of the photos of women with a clutch of starving children and a new baby on her hip. Hundreds of thousands of refugee women producing a new baby every year are creating an ever increasing problem that the rest of the world is expected to finance.

    The UN needs a really good shake up and revaluation of its terms of reference. It is becoming increasingly left wing and partisan in its approach to conflict. Unenforceable rulings by the UN courts are just a waste of time and money and underline how weak the UN actually is. At a time when the world is rushing headlong into a third, and possibly nuclear, world war we need a UN that is fit for purpose.

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      You are right Wendy … the UN needs people like you to ‘shake things up’ … and maybe you can even encourage Israel to use its known nuclear weapons to start WW3 ! Keep in mind the first two WWs were because of a dispute between the ‘white tribes’ of Europe. This time they have an ‘othered’ tribe to attack ! But that may not be necessary .. if the genocide of Palestinians is successfully undertaken … obviously with the complicity of the superpower US. A superpower that even builds a ‘pier’ to ship in ‘aid’, when apparently Israel is “flooding” Gaza with food ! BUT … no real means of distributing it … because the UN which has the means … can no longer be trusted to do so, under Israeli instruction. Simultaneously, it does not stop the US from ‘flooding’ Israel with bombs etc.

    • Farzana Araie says:

      Wendy White insisting on forced contraception for refugee women is one of the sickest things I’ve read in a long time, even in light of the atrocious amounts of genocide denialism seen in the contacts section. I bet Wendy White was one of those people who supported forced contraception and sterilization measures of the black population in the good old apartheid days. Interestingly, the Nazis also had these sort of programs that were forced on people they thought were undesirable.

  • Tell The Truth says:

    In actual fact, if you read the wording of the order, the ICJ has ordered Israel “to halt Rafah operations that risk destruction of civilian population”. This is NOT the same as ordering a ceasefire, because Israel is still permitted to carry out targeted strikes against Hamas as long as they minimise civilian casualties. As for aid, it’s Egypt, NOT Israel, that’s blocking access to aid from the Rafah crossing. I wish Zandor and his gang of corrupt cronies wouldn’t twist the truth to their and their benefactors’ benefit at every turn.

  • Troy Marshall says:

    If anyone asks me, “Troy why are you voting for Action SA, and not the DA”. I’ll tell them, “scroll through the comments on the Daily Maverick”.

    • David C says:

      No offense, Troy – but if you make political choices based on red herrings like race, religion, gender etc. then you’re the problem SA is broken. The government you choose in a democracy is ONLY about which politicians will steal the least of the extorted taxes, and/or do the most with the extorted taxes. Literally EVERY SINGLE other issue Politicians throw in our faces is merely sleight of hand and obfuscation to detract from their theiving and power-ego trips. If you are one of the unwashed masses caught out by that ploy then perhaps its time to start rethinking your life choices.

      • Troy Marshall says:

        Your post did nothing to alter the disillusionment that I have with the DA and the kind of people who support them.

        Do yourself a favour, read some of the comments. Yesterday Palestinians were advised to go to Egypt because Egypt has the space. I took a screenshot of that one. I have a mate whose sister is a red beret. That comment (land comment) should interest her.
        There was another one where an author (from Somalia) contributed an article to the Daily Maverick, just to have his homeland described as a s….t hole. I took a screenshot of that one as well.

        Even you seem to believe that insults have the power to change minds.

      • Steve Brooks says:

        This is a war of religions more than race and it is going to be fought by Muslims and the rest all over the world.
        Those who believe a two state solution can be negotiated followed by lasting peace as advocated by the UN should take a look at Cyprus where the UN is still keeping the peace between the Turks and the Greeks since 1974. Why does the UN not police a cease fire line as in Cyprus? Why does the UN not even suggest it?
        Both Hamas and Israel want one state, but not the same one.

  • No ceasefire was ordered. Don’t mislead the public. Read the order. Only genocidal acts (as if there even were any) are to stop. 4/5 judges confirmed this in their written opinions. The only distorter was the biased South African judge. Read carefully people!!!!

  • Rolando MacJones says:

    Response to John P who I’ve been following closely and who generally seems sane.

    > John P
    25 May 2024 at 11:28
    Apologies you are correct, 1948 not 1947. Not only the year that modern Israel came into being but also the year of the Nakba. The forced removal of around 750,000 Palestinians and the killing of over 15,00. Firstly by Jewish settlers and then by the newly created IDF. Mostly very European Caucasian settlers.

    You cannot avoid the truth that this Nabqa was a direct result of Israel being immediately attacked by all of its (Muslim) neighbours after the 1948 resolution which created the state of Israel formally.

    While I’m sure that there was some ugly ethnic cleansing at the time, it’s also undeniably true that many muslims, particularly the middle class, left voluntarily under the expectation that Israel would be quickly conquered, and a return to the Ottoman empire was imminent.

    It’s also true that Arabs who chose to stay and fight for their land as part of Israel still hold a place in modern Israel.

    The Nabqa in other words is largely a middle class lie, like many zero value virtuous beliefs.

  • Rolando MacJones says:

    As a Muslim brother, one thing that is now clear is that Israel is not just going to disappear.

    The other thing that is clear is that islam has a place in Israel, although as a mostly religious state, like many of its neighbours, Israel is now the visceral homeland for Jews, who really have been deliberately oppressed as a religious minority historically.

    Soz real-politik now. Israel is not going to disappear despite silly young people singing from the river to the sea.

    Israel taught Iran an important military lesson recently. Iran tried out its best long range missiles on Israel, which were mainly intercepted en-route.

    Israel in retaliation performed a precise attack on a site next to Iran’s nuclear research lab. You will not find this on main-stream media, but it is crushing for Iran.

    Knowing the Iranian leadership, it is not surprising that Ebrahim Raisi died soon after in a “helicopter crash”. In Japan we call it falling on our sword.

    Short message. Israel is here to stay. The rest is real-politik.

    How it is relevant to SA is only in our liberation government’s utter inability to actually build anything useful. As opposed to the Apartheid government who at least built “Bantu education” broadly where there was no such concept before.

    Be careful of cultures that actually create useful stuff. They will always dominate victim cultures.

    Such is the natural world. It’s not good per se, but it’s real.

    • Noel Soyizwaphi says:

      It is not wrong of you to try draw parallels between South Africa and Palestine as both have experienced oppression and apartheid. Aspects of Israeli life, including violations of international standards such as illegal occupation, detention, privileges based on ethnicity and other repressive draconian laws, point to similarities on South Africa then and Israel now. Like in SA up until the official end of apartheid, Palestine and its people have simply not disappeared. No matter the sustained and unbroken hostilities of the Israeli establishment to anything that Palestine represents, for as long as the the coexistence of the two nations has not been resolved, through dialogue, no matter the might of Israel army, the spirit of Palestinians to achieve this will not be defeated. The Israeli effort to get rid of Hamas might succeed and I wish it does without destroying Palestinian life, but the question about Israel-Palestine peaceful coexistence will persist. Theere is misconception that apartheid in South did not start in 1948. Agreed, white people of Dutch origin fought with the white people of English origin for the control of South Africa. However, when these faction decided to stop their fight, they continued to exclude blacks. In my book, that was apartheid. So, apartheid goes as far back as the time of landing of all whites in this country. The deep scars caused by the systematic apartheid, including your precious “bantu education” will take many more decades to heal.

      • Rolando MacJones says:

        Thanks Noel, I appreciate your kind response. We’re both trying to make sense of things clearly, which definitely requires projection of our own experience.

        It is interesting to compare the Afrikaners of South Africa to both the Palestinians and the Israelis.

        In some sense the Afrikaners were the original anti-colonial movement in South Africa. And as you mentioned, fought a bitter war against the British, including suffering the original concentration camps, and razed land policy of the British.

        I must counter some of your beliefs, however.

        Apartheid is just a name for the Afrikaner regime in South Africa. The ideology behind it was simple. Different cultures cannot co-exist comfortably.

        This ideology is not necessarily evil per se – in fact before the introduction of renaissance western values it was simply assumed as the obvious tribal ideology.

        Now oppression on the other hand is an attitude. As a black man, although not Bantu, I do not feel oppressed by the Afrikaners, nor by anyone.

      • Rolando MacJones says:

        This is particularly telling of your attitude to humanity, Noel:

        > So, apartheid goes as far back as the time of landing of all whites in this country.

        Do you know that the Bantu people were never resident in the Western or even Northern Cape before Jan van Riebeek landed and eventually settled in the Cape of Good Hope?

        Same country you’re talking about.

        Same country my forefathers came to as slaves.

        Similarly, while the Afrikaners were rebelling against their colonial masters, Shaka Zulu was creating a void through brutal military conquest, into which the “white” and some of my people ventured.

        Per “Bantu education”, I guess you are well educated from a western perspective. So am I. But let’s be frank (a term etymologically coming from the original French natives compared to their Roman conquerors) – would you prefer to not have had the privilege of western European education?

        Jacob Zuma embodies your spirit exactly. He wants a return to pastoral tribal existence, happily herding goats. To be honest, that sounds idyllic to me, which is why I spend as much time as I can, mostly alone in the mountains of the Western Cape.

        However, there’s no point being angry at white people for introducing western education.

        People are voting with their feet every day, fleeing from the pastoral homelands to the cities.

        The cities really are the bastions of European influence in every way.

        It’s just life, no?

  • Dov de Jong says:

    The logic of the unaffected has no bearing on the reality. The slogan ” From the river to the sea ” means the total destruction of Israel and a 2nd Holocaust with the slaughter of all the Jews there. This is the wish prayer and hope of the people shouting it. The times that the Jews went quietly to their deaths is no more. that takes getting used to for the Anti-Semites of the world and really aggravates them. Hence all the demonstrations and lawfare and screaming and shouting, small detail where do you think all those Palestinian flags came from all of a sudden ? And more to the point who paid for them ?
    John P’s point is a showcase of the general. lack of knowledge of the history of the Jewish people. Jews and what happens to them is not a concern for a lot of people more of an irritation really because ” Jews don’t count ” as the past has clearly shown. So UN shmumm as Ben Gurion said.

  • Sydney Kaye says:

    “ICJ orders Israel to immediately halt its military incursion in Rafah”. But it didn’t did it. It ordered a stop to the incursion into Rafah only in as much as it threatened a genocide. The whole premise of a genicide is absurd whichever figure for casualties you want to use especially after deducting dead combatants, considering 8 months of fighting and 2.2M inhabitants of the area.

  • Craig King says:

    A ceasefire would mean Israel will be unable to destroy Hamas. How could they comply and keep Jews safe at the same time?

  • Agf Agf says:

    What is also not being reported anywhere (including the BBC, Reuters and Daily Maverick) is that the deputy president of the ICJ issued a dissenting report, totally rejecting the ruling of the court. Good for her.

  • Dov de Jong says:

    Nice one Victoria, unfortunately totally wrong. Read the order properly, that would help.

  • Johan Buys says:

    governments and leaders come and go, but this part of the world has terrorism as a constant.

    The Brits were bombed and assassinated by “Jewish Terrorists” when they occupied the area.

    Nothing will solve this – too many batshit crazy extremists on all sides.

    Short term : an international peacekeeping force that controls a 1 mile deep zone at the Egypt border and polices goods and demolishes tunnels under that 1 mile wide barrier.

    Problem is Gaza is so small that if such a 1 mile DMZ kept Palestinians and Israeli settlers apart, there would be little left of Gaza.

  • Stephen Paul says:

    Yes these UN courts rulings are unenforceable which bizarrely has actually been amply demonstrated by the same cANCer government itself initiating these prosecutions. First defying the ICC by not arresting Omar al Bashir with no consequence, and second no condemnation of, and even supplying military equipment for Russian war crimes against Ukraine. In a funny/unfunny way the courts have set a precedent that Iran and Lebanon which has Hezbollah in its government, must now also be held accountable for their genocidal threats against Israel and by extension its civilian population. What we know for certain is that this prosecution will not be led by South Africa.

  • Mike Newton says:

    From the BBC tonight” Hamas says it has launched a “big” rocket attack at the Tel Aviv area in central Israel.
    At least eight rockets were launched from the Rafah area in southern Gaza, the Israeli military said, adding that several were intercepted. No injuries were reported.
    The attack – the first time in nearly four months that Hamas has attacked central Israel – comes as Israel carries out a military operation in Rafah, defying a ruling by the UN’s top court.
    The barrage of rockets highlights the threat Hamas still poses to people across Israel”

  • John Shaw says:

    The first issue that needs addressing is who the terrorists.

  • Rolando MacJones says:

    And then rockets were fired on Israel out of Rafah.

    You can’t have it both ways, well meaning people.

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