Egypt calls on Israel to comply with ICJ rulings to halt assault in Rafah, open all border crossings to Gaza

Ahram Online , Friday 24 May 2024

Egypt welcomed the decision issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordering Israel to immediately halt its military operations and any other actions in the Palestinian city of Rafah, open Rafah and all border crossings to the Gaza Strip, and stop creating living conditions threatening the existence of Palestinians in Gaza, either wholly or partially.

(From L) Judge Nawaf Salam, Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf and Judge Georg Nolte attend a hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as part of South Africa s request on a Gaza ceasefire in The Hague, on May 24, 2024. AFP


In a statement issued shortly after the ICJ’s ruling, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs praised the court's decision to mandate Israel open the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt crossing to ensure full and unobstructed access to humanitarian aid for the residents of the Gaza Strip.

According to the statement, Egypt urged Israel to comply with its legal obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and international humanitarian law.

It also called on it to implement all the provisional measures issued by the ICJ, which are legally binding and enforceable as decisions of the highest international judicial authority.

The Egyptian foreign ministry emphasized that Israel, as the occupying power, bears full legal responsibility for the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Gaza.

It called on Israel to cease its systematic policies against the Palestinian people, including targeting, starvation, and blockade, in violation of all provisions of international law and international humanitarian law, the statement added.

It noted that the ICJ's decision aligns with the current tragic situation in Gaza, where widespread killing and destruction have affected innocent Palestinians and the entire infrastructure of the region due to the Israeli war.

Egypt had previously warned of the risks posed by Israeli military operations in Rafah, highlighting their direct impact on exacerbating the humanitarian crisis for over 1.4 million Palestinians.

It also called on the UN Security Council and influential international parties to fulfil their legal and humanitarian responsibilities by adopting decisive measures to end the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip.

This includes achieving a comprehensive ceasefire, ending military operations in the Palestinian city of Rafah, ensuring the full flow of aid throughout the sector, and protecting international relief teams in receiving and distributing aid.

Last week, Cairo disclosed that it rejected any coordination with Israel on the Rafah border crossing after Israel seized the Palestinian side of the crossing.

Cairo has expressed its total refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, insisting on only dealing with Palestinian personnel on the Palestinian side of the crossing in aid delivery to the strip.

In mid-May, Egypt announced its intention to officially intervene in support of South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the ICJ.

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