ICJ Orders Israel to Halt Rafah Operation, Israel Refuses

In an expected announcement, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered Israel to halt its operation in Rafah. The ICJ claimed that the humanitarian situation in Rafah has “deteriorated further” and that Israeli measures to protect civilians have failed. The ICJ also ordered Israel to respond to these demands and show compliance within one month.

Several Israeli ministers responded to the announcement. The first was Israeli Finance Minister Smotrich.

Israeli National Security Minister Ben-Gvir called for the “occupation” of Rafah and to increase military pressure in response to the ICJ order.

This order comes after the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Karim Khan, applied for arrest warrants for both Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Hamas leader Sinwar.

While the ICC is independent of the UN, the ICJ is an organ of the UN and has considerably more power amongst international disputes than the ICC which issues criminal court proceedings. All nations are party to the ICJ if they are members of the UN. However, as the U.S. demonstrated after the ICJ ruling against its Nicaragua War, nations can withdraw compulsory jurisdiction in cases involving them if they do not agree.