South Africa hails World Court ruling on Israel's Rafah assault


JOHANNESBURG – South Africa's international relations department on Friday hailed as ground-breaking a ruling by the International Court of Justice that ordered Israel to halt its military assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

South Africa hails ruling by International Court of Justice ordering Israel to stop its military assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah
Director-General of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa Zane Dangor and South African Ambassador to the Netherlands Vusimuzi Madonsela talk at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), at the start of a hearing where South Africa requests new emergency measures over Israel's attacks on Rafah, as part of an ongoing case South Africa filed at the ICJ in December last year accusing Israel of violating the Genocide Convention during its offensive against Palestinians in Gaza, in The Hague Netherlands May 16, 2024. [Image - REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo]

Judges at the World Court earlier on Friday backed a South African request to order Israel to halt its offensive in Rafah, a week after Pretoria called for the measure in a case accusing Israel of genocide.

A two-storey beach club collapsed in Spain on Thursday, killing several people and injuring more than a dozen.

Israel has repeatedly dismissed the case's accusations of genocide as baseless, arguing in court that its operations in Gaza are self-defence and targeted at Hamas militants who attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

"South Africa welcomes the ruling made by the court today. ... This order is ground-breaking as it is the first time that explicit mention is made for Israel to halt its military action in any area of Gaza," Zane Dangor, director-general of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, said in a video clip shared by the department.

"This is de facto calling for a ceasefire. It is ordering the major party in this conflict to end its belligerent action against the people of Palestine," Dangor added.

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