Top UN court rejects South African request for urgent measures to protect Rafah

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The top UN court on Friday rejected a South African request to impose urgent measures to safeguard Rafah in the Gaza Strip, but also stressed that Israel must respect earlier measures imposed late last month at a preliminary stage in a landmark genocide case.

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The International Court of Justice said in a statement that the “perilous situation” in Rafah “demands immediate and effective implementation of the provisional measures indicated by the Court in its Order of 26 January 2024, which are applicable throughout the Gaza Strip, including in Rafah, and does not demand the indication of additional provisional measures.”

The world court added that Israel “remains bound to fully comply with its obligations under the Genocide Convention and with the said Order, including by ensuring the safety and security of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.”

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South Africa announced Tuesday that it had lodged an “urgent request ” with the International Court of Justice to consider whether Israel’s military operations targeting the southern Gaza city of Rafah breach provisional orders the court handed down last month in a case alleging genocide.

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