Lindsay Dentlinger24 May 2024 | 14:00

ICJ orders Israel to immediately stop its military offensive in Rafah

It's also ordered Israel to keep the border crossing at Rafah open to allow for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.

ICJ orders Israel to immediately stop its military offensive in Rafah

Magistrates are seen at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as part of South Africa's request on a Gaza ceasefire in The Hague, on 24 May 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Hamas movement. Picture: Nick Gammon / AFP

CAPE TOWN - Israel's been ordered to stop its military operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah by the world’s highest court. 
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) said that the Palestinian population in that city were at "immense risk" as a result of Israel's attacks.

In January, the court stopped short of ordering Israel to stop its military incursion in the occupied territory.
Following last week's oral arguments by both South Africa and Israel, the International Court of Justice said that the current situation in Gaza was placing Palestinians at further risk of irreparable prejudice. 
Reaffirming provisional measures already issued in January and modified in March, on Friday it went a step further.
Court president Nawaf Salam read out the order, agreed to by 13 votes to two.
"The state of Israel shall, in view of the worsening conditions of life faced by civilians in Rafah, immediately halt its military offensive and any other action in the Rafah govern which may inflict on the civilians of Gaza conditions of life that would bring about its physical destruction in whole or in party." 
Israel has also been ordered to allow investigating and fact-finding missions into Rafah to investigate crimes of genocide. 
Israel will have to submit a report to the court within a month from Friday on its progress in enforcing the order, to which South Africa will be allowed to respond.