Israel-Hamas War – May 24, 2024

May 24, 2024: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague today issued a further pronouncement calling for Israel to cease military operations in Rafah, Southern Gaza, insofar as they affect the civilian population. The Court reiterated its earlier call for Hamas to unconditionally release all Israeli hostages (per Court judgment broadcast).

Comment: There was no call to halt the war or for the IDF to withdraw. The ICJ is effectively allowing Israel to occupy Gaza and continue operations elsewhere in Gaza. Will Israel agree to halt operations in Rafah (away from civilians) as soon as Hamas releases all the Israeli hostages?

ICJ Judgment Para 50: “The Court considers that, in conformity with its obligations under the Genocide Convention, Israel must immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah Governorate, which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” [i.e. Israel need only halt operations which harm the Palestinian group]

ICJ judgment Para 56: “In its Orders of 26 January 2024 and 28 March 2024, the Court expressed its grave concern over the fate of the hostages abducted during the attack in Israel on 7 October 2023 and held since then by Hamas and other armed groups, and called for their immediate and unconditional release. The Court finds it deeply troubling that many of these hostages remain in captivity and reiterates its call for their immediate and unconditional release.”