After World Court Ruling, Palestinians Want Action Not Words

A Palestinian woman stands next to a damaged building after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 22, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas group. (AFP)
A Palestinian woman stands next to a damaged building after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 22, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas group. (AFP)
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After World Court Ruling, Palestinians Want Action Not Words

A Palestinian woman stands next to a damaged building after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 22, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas group. (AFP)
A Palestinian woman stands next to a damaged building after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 22, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas group. (AFP)

Forced from her home by Israel's seven-month-long Gaza offensive, Salwa al-Masri has little hope her plight will be alleviated by a ruling from the UN's top court ordering Israel to halt its offensive in Rafah.

"The massacres are only increasing," she said, as she cooked a meal on an open fire outside a tent in Deir al-Balah.

"They shouldn’t say one thing, while the action is something different," said Masri, who fled her home in northern Gaza earlier in the war. "We want these decisions to be implemented on the ground."

Judges at the World Court, also known the International Court of Justice (ICJ), ordered Israel on Friday to halt its offensive in Rafah governorate. It marked a landmark emergency ruling on a case brought by South Africa accusing Israel of genocide in its assault on the Gaza Strip.

But the World Court has no means to enforce its orders, and Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz said Israel would continue its "just and necessary" war against the Hamas militant group to return its hostages and ensure its security.

Hamas fighters killed some 1,200 people in Israel in the Oct. 7 attack and abducted around 250 more, according to Israeli tallies. Gaza health authorities say more than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli retaliatory offensive which has laid waste to much of the enclave.

Israel has rejected South Africa's accusation that it is committing genocide against Palestinians in the Gaza war, arguing that it is acting to defend itself and fighting Hamas.

"Israel doesn’t care about the world, it acts as if it was above the law because the US administration is shielding it against punishment,” said Shaban Abdel-Raouf, a Palestinian displaced four times by the Israeli offensive.

"The world isn’t yet prepared to stop our slaughter at Israeli hands,” said Abdel-Raouf, who was reached by phone.

Israel began pushing into Rafah earlier this month, saying it aims to wipe out remaining Hamas fighters holed up there.

Simultaneous Israeli assaults on the northern and southern edges of Gaza this month have caused a new exodus of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fleeing their homes, and have cut off the main access routes for aid, raising the risk of famine.

South Africa's lawyers asked the ICJ last week to impose emergency measures, saying Israel's attacks on Rafah must be stopped to ensure the survival of the Palestinian people.

Hamas said it welcomed the World Court ruling but said it was not enough "since the occupation aggression across the Gaza Strip and especially in northern Gaza is just as brutal and dangerous".

Palestinians needed an immediate halt to the war and they wanted to see action to achieve that, displaced Palestinian man Nabil Diab said. "We don’t need a declaration," he said.



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.