Fri 24 May 2024 11:00 pm - Jerusalem Time

Arab demands for Israel to comply with the ICJ decision regarding Gaza

On Friday, Arab countries and organizations welcomed the decision of the International Court of Justice, which ordered Israel to immediately stop its military operations in the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, calling on Tel Aviv to comply with the decision, and the Security Council to assume its responsibilities in this regard.

This came in official statements issued by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Libya, Palestine, the Arab League, and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

With the approval of 13 of its members and the rejection of two members, the Court of Justice issued, earlier Friday, new temporary measures demanding that Israel “immediately stop its attack on Rafah,” “maintain the opening of the Rafah crossing to facilitate the entry of aid into Gaza,” and “submit a report to the court within month about the steps it has taken in this regard.

These new measures came from the court, which is the highest judicial body in the United Nations, in response to a request from South Africa as part of a comprehensive lawsuit filed by Pretoria at the end of December 2023, accusing Tel Aviv of “committing genocide crimes” in Gaza.

Below are some Arab reactions to the court’s decision:

** Palestine

The Palestinian presidency welcomed the decision, in a statement, and called on “the occupying state to implement it immediately.”

It also called on the international community to "oblige the occupying state to implement the decisions of the Court of Justice, and to pressure it to respect and implement the decisions of international legitimacy and international law, because the occupying state considers itself a state above international law, and cannot be held accountable because of America’s blind and biased support in favor of the occupation."

The Palestinian presidency reiterated its “emphasis on the need to oblige Israel to stop its aggression against our people everywhere, in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem.”

She also appreciated "the positions of the countries that stood by the Palestinian right," adding that "this international consensus proves once again that the occupying state stands isolated, along with its allies who provide it with support, protection, and impunity."

At the end of December 2023, South Africa filed a lawsuit against Israel before the Court of Justice, and later countries, including Turkey, Nicaragua, and Colombia, submitted requests to join the case.

** Egypt

Egypt, in a statement by its Foreign Ministry, welcomed the Court of Justice’s decision, calling on “Israel to comply with its legal obligations and implement all interim measures issued by the Court, which are considered legally binding and enforceable, as they are issued by the highest international judicial body.”

She stressed that "Israel bears full legal responsibility for the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Gaza as the occupying power."

Egypt called on the Security Council and influential international parties to fulfill their legal and humanitarian responsibilities by adopting decisive measures to put an end to the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and a comprehensive ceasefire in the Strip.

The decisions of the Court of Justice are binding on all members of the United Nations, including Israel, and the UN Security Council is the guarantor of the implementation of the court’s order.

** Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia confirmed, in a statement by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that the Court of Justice’s decision “is a positive step towards the moral and legal right of the Palestinian people.”

She stressed "the importance of international resolutions covering all Palestinian territories in accordance with the relevant international legitimacy resolutions," referring to the fact that the court's decision was limited to ordering a halt to the Israeli attack on Rafah.

The Kingdom also renewed its call on "the international community to assume its responsibilities to stop all forms of aggression against the Palestinian people."

** Qatar

Qatar considered, through a statement by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that the Court of Justice’s decision “reflects the international community’s categorical rejection of the war on Gaza,” and expressed its hope that it would pave the way for “an immediate, comprehensive and permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.”

Qatar stressed "the need for the Israeli authorities to fully commit to implementing all provisions of the resolution, and to provide the International Court of Justice with a comprehensive report on time."

It also stressed "the need for the UN Security Council to fulfill its responsibilities to provide full protection for civilians in the Gaza Strip."

** Jordan

In a statement by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jordan described the Court of Justice’s decision as “unprecedented” and stressed the necessity of its implementation as it “represents the international will calling for an end to this raging aggressive war” against Gaza.

He also stressed the need for "Israel to comply with the rules of international law and international humanitarian law and with the international will calling for an end to the war, and for the Security Council to assume its responsibilities without delay" in this regard.

Likewise, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, via the X platform, called on the Security Council to put an end to Israel’s “impunity” and stop “double standards” in its application of international law regarding the war on the Gaza Strip.


In Libya, Mohamed Al-Manfi, head of the Presidential Council, said on the X platform: “We welcome the binding decision of the Court of Justice regarding the cessation of military operations in the city of Rafah and the opening of its crossing.”

He added, "Just legal humanitarian decisions enhance faith and trust in international humanitarian institutions, conventions and laws and lead to the Palestinian people achieving their state."

** Arab League

At the level of international organizations, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, welcomed the Court of Justice’s decision, and stressed that “the Israeli occupation’s failure to comply with the decision means further breach of its obligations regarding the Genocide Convention.”

Aboul Gheit said, in a statement issued by the Arab League, that the court’s decision “expands the circle of sweeping international consensus by rejecting the continuation of the Israeli war on Gaza, the necessity of a ceasefire, and the immediate entry of humanitarian aid through all crossings to spare the Palestinian population the danger of imminent famine.”

The Secretary-General of the Arab League stressed that the continued Israeli attack on Rafah is "a crime that must be stopped immediately."

** GCC

The Gulf Cooperation Council affirmed, in a statement, that the Court of Justice’s decision “reflects the international community’s commitment to international law and justice, and enhances the protection of the rights of the Palestinian people.”

The Council called on the international community, with all its organizations and institutions, to "pressure the Israeli occupation forces to take the necessary measures to ensure their compliance with these resolutions and to stop their hostile and brutal actions against the Palestinian people."

On the other hand, Israeli warplanes launched violent raids on central Rafah immediately after the Court of Justice issued the decision, while Israeli ministers expressed their rejection of the decision, and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir called for a response by “occupying Rafah.”

In its decision issued today, the Court of Justice said that the attack on Rafah is a “dangerous development that increases the suffering of its residents,” and that Israel “did not do enough to ensure the safety and security” of those forcibly displaced from this city.

Since May 6, Israel has launched a ground attack on Rafah, and the next day it seized the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, which led to its closure to the crossing of the wounded and already scarce humanitarian aid.

The attack also caused the displacement of nearly a million Palestinians from Rafah, according to the United Nations, after the city contained 1.5 million, including 1.4 million displaced from other parts of the Strip.

It is noteworthy that the Court of Justice had previously issued, on January 26, 2024, other temporary measures, within the same South African lawsuit, in which it ordered Israel to take “measures to prevent acts of genocide against the Palestinians, and to improve the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip,” which it is besieged by. Israel for 17 years, but Tel Aviv did not fulfill what the court requested.

The war on Gaza left more than 116,000 Palestinians dead and wounded, most of them children and women, and about 10,000 missing amid massive destruction and famine that claimed the lives of children and the elderly.

Israel continues the war despite the International Criminal Court’s intention to issue arrest warrants against its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and its Defense Minister, Yoav Galant, for their responsibility for “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity,” and despite the issuance of a resolution by the UN Security Council to immediately stop the fighting.

Source: Anatolia


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Arab demands for Israel to comply with the ICJ decision regarding Gaza