Reaction to World Court’s Order for Israel to Halt Rafah Assault in Gaza

 Smoke rises during an Israeli air strike, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, May 24, 2024. (Reuters)
Smoke rises during an Israeli air strike, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, May 24, 2024. (Reuters)
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Reaction to World Court’s Order for Israel to Halt Rafah Assault in Gaza

 Smoke rises during an Israeli air strike, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, May 24, 2024. (Reuters)
Smoke rises during an Israeli air strike, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, May 24, 2024. (Reuters)

Israel was ordered by the World Court on Friday to halt its military assault on the city of Rafah during the Gaza war.

Here are some reactions:

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY SPOKESPERSON NABIL ABU RUDEINEH  

"The presidency welcomes the decision issued by the International Court of Justice, which represents an international consensus on the demand to stop the all-out war on Gaza."

HAMAS OFFICIAL BASEM NAIM:

"We welcome the decision by the World Court that calls on the Zionist occupation forces to end its military aggression on Rafah. We believe it is not enough since the occupation aggression across the Gaza Strip and especially in northern Gaza is just as brutal and dangerous.

"We call upon the UN Security Council to immediately implement this demand by the World Court into practical measures to compel the Zionist enemy to implement the decision.

"We welcome the court's request to allow investigation committees to reach the Gaza Strip to investigate acts of war of genocide against the Palestinian people and Hamas pledges to cooperate with investigation committees."

ISRAEL

FINANCE MINISTER BEZALEL SMOTRICH: "Those who demand that the State of Israel stop the war, demand that it decree itself to cease to exist. We will not agree to that."

OPPOSITION LEADER YAIR LAPID: "The ICC arrest warrants are a complete moral failure, we cannot accept the outrageous comparison between Netanyahu and (Hamas leader) Sinwar, between the leaders of Israel and the leaders of Hamas.

"The fact that the court in the Hague did not make the connection in its ruling between the cessation of fighting in Rafah and the return of the hostages and Israel's right to defend itself against terrorism is a moral collapse and a moral disaster."

FORMER UN ENVOY DANNY DANON: "As ICJ judges in The Hague deliberate in comfort and return to their families, 125 hostages languish in tunnels. Israel will not cease the war until our hostages are brought back home and Hamas is completely defeated."

WAR CABINET MINISTER BENNY GANTZ: "The State of Israel set out on a just and necessary campaign following the brutal massacre of its citizens, abhorrent sexual violence perpetrated against its women, kidnapping of its children and rockets fired at its cities. The State of Israel is committed to continue fighting to return its hostages and promise the security of its citizens - wherever and whenever necessary - including in Rafah.

"We will continue operating in accordance with international law wherever we might operate, while safeguarding to the best extent possible the civilian population. Not because of the ICJ, but because of who we are and the values we stand for."

ISRAELI GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON before the ruling: "No power on Earth will stop Israel from protecting its citizens and going after Hamas in Gaza".

SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL ZANE DANGOR

"South Africa welcomes the ruling made by the court today. ... This order is ground-breaking as it is the first time that explicit mention is made for Israel to halt its military action in any area of Gaza

"This is de facto calling for a ceasefire. It is ordering the major party in this conflict to end its belligerent action against the people of Palestine.

"This order like the others ... are binding and Israel has to adhere to them."

EU'S TOP DIPLOMAT JOSEP BORRELL:

"What is going to be the (EU's) answer to the ruling of the International Court of Justice that has been issued today, what is going to be our position? We will have to choose between our support to international institutions of the rule of law or our support to Israel."

BELGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER HADJA LAHBIB:

"The @CIJ_ICJ orders Israel to stop its military offensive in Rafah. (Belgium) calls for immediate implementation of the decision. The violence and human suffering in Gaza must stop. We call for a ceasefire, the release of the hostages and negotiations for two States."

GLOBAL RIGHTS COMPLIANCE NGO:

"The ruling today serves as another admonishment of Israel's flagrant disregard for international law and the obligation to protect civilians in conflict.

"Crucially, it gives critical recognition to survivors and the communities living under these attacks that they are unlawful. The ruling is likely to generate further pressure and international attention against Israel and their conduct of hostilities which has, to date, had all the hallmarks of starvation being used as a deliberate method of warfare.”

JORDAN FOREIGN MINISTER AYMAN SAFADI:

"Once again, the ICJ exposes Israel’s war crimes in Gaza. And once again, the Israeli Govt reacts with disdain to Int’l law, refusing to heed the Court’s orders. The SC (Security Council) must shoulder its responsibility, put an end to Israel’s impunity & to double standards in enforcing Int’l law."

REED BRODY, WAR CRIMES PROSECUTOR:

"The ICJ has stepped up to the plate with an historic decision that responds to the escalating gravity of the situation in Gaza. The court has crossed a threshold, for the first time, by ordering Israel to halt specific military operations as well as to open the Rafah crossing and other crossings and allow access to international fact-finding missions.

"This legally binding and very specific ruling leaves Israel with very little wiggle room. Together with the ICC prosecutor’s request for indictments of Prime Minister Netanyahu and other top Israeli and Hamas officials, these actions are a 1-2 legal punch to the conduct of Israel’s war in Gaza." 



Hezbollah Fires New Barrage at Israel, Which Vows to Hit Back

Hezbollah members take part in a military exercise during a media tour organized for the occasion of Resistance and Liberation Day, in Aaramta, Lebanon, May 21, 2023. (Reuters)
Hezbollah members take part in a military exercise during a media tour organized for the occasion of Resistance and Liberation Day, in Aaramta, Lebanon, May 21, 2023. (Reuters)
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Hezbollah Fires New Barrage at Israel, Which Vows to Hit Back

Hezbollah members take part in a military exercise during a media tour organized for the occasion of Resistance and Liberation Day, in Aaramta, Lebanon, May 21, 2023. (Reuters)
Hezbollah members take part in a military exercise during a media tour organized for the occasion of Resistance and Liberation Day, in Aaramta, Lebanon, May 21, 2023. (Reuters)

Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group said it fired a new wave of rockets and drones at the Israeli army on Thursday, after an Israeli strike killed one of its senior commanders, AFP reported.
It was Hezbollah’s largest simultaneous attack in near-daily cross-border fire between it and the Israeli army since its ally Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel triggered the Gaza war.
Hezbollah fighters launched “an attack with rockets and drones, targeting six barracks and military sites” while simultaneously flying “squadrons of explosive-laden drones” at three other Israeli bases, the group said in a statement.
One of the targets included an Israeli base that Hezbollah said housed an intelligence headquarters “responsible for the assassinations.”
Hezbollah said the attacks were “part of the response to the assassination” of Hezbollah commander Taleb Abdallah on Tuesday.
The Israeli army said about “40 projectiles were launched toward the Galilee and Golan Heights area,” adding most were intercepted while others ignited fires.
The Israeli government vowed to respond strongly to all Hezbollah attacks.
“Israel will respond with force to all aggressions by Hezbollah,” government spokesman David Mencer said during a press briefing.
“Whether through diplomatic efforts or otherwise, Israel will restore security on our northern border,” he added.
In recent weeks, cross-border exchanges have escalated, with Hezbollah stepping up its use of drones to attack Israeli military positions and Israel hitting back with targeted strikes against the militants.
On Wednesday, top Hezbollah official Hashem Safieddine vowed the group would “increase the intensity, strength, quantity and quality of our attacks,” while speaking at Abdallah’s funeral.
The Israeli army confirmed it carried out the strike that “eliminated” Abdallah on Tuesday, describing him as “one of Hezbollah’s most senior commanders in southern Lebanon.”
A Lebanese military source said he was the “most important” Hezbollah commander to have been killed since the start of the war.
The cross-border violence has killed at least 468 people in Lebanon, most of them fighters but also including 89 civilians, according to an AFP tally.
Israeli authorities say at least 15 Israeli soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed.