UN Court orders Israel to stop Rafah offensive – Generic English

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Adil Haque, a law professor at Rutgers Law School, said the ruling limits Israel’s offensive in and around Rafah but leaves some room to defend itself.

“Large-scale military operations in or around Rafah are probably out of the question because they will lead to mass death and displacement of civilians,” he said. “But targeted operations to specifically respond to rocket fire or to rescue hostages, in principle, should still be on the table.”

“Israel can take the legally safe route and keep its operations strictly limited,” he added, “or it can take the legally risky route and test the court’s patience.”

Dire Tladi, a South African judge on the court, clarified in a separate opinion that “legitimate defensive actions, within the strict confines of international law, to repel specific attacks,” would be consistent with the court’s ruling. But “the continuation of the offensive military operation in Rafah and elsewhere” will not.

South Africa argued that Israel’s control of the two main border crossings in southern Gaza, at Rafah and Kerem Shalom, prevented sufficient aid from arriving, plunging Gaza into “unprecedented levels of humanitarian need.” According to UN data, few humanitarian trucks are entering, but many commercial trucks – carrying goods to sell rather than distribute for free – have entered the enclave.

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