ICJ hears South Africa's calls to stop Israel Rafah offensive

South Africa will ask the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday to order an immediate halt to Israel's incursion in Rafah, describing it as a "genocidal" operation threatening the "very survival of Palestinians".

Top lawyers for Pretoria will kick off two days of hearings at the Peace Palace, home of the ICJ, imploring judges to order a ceasefire throughout Gaza.

Israel is to respond on Friday yet has previously described its "unwavering" commitment to upholding international law while calling South Africa's case "wholly unfounded" and "morally repugnant".

In a ruling that made headlines around the world, the ICJ in January ordered Israel to do everything in its power to prevent genocidal acts and enable humanitarian aid to Gaza.

But the court stopped short of ordering a ceasefire and now South Africa's argues that the situation on the ground – notably the Rafah operation – requires fresh ICJ action.

"As the overwhelming evidence demonstrates, the very manner in which Israel is pursuing its military operations in Rafah, and elsewhere in Gaza, is itself genocidal," South Africa said in its submission.

"It must be ordered to stop."

'Last refuge' in Gaza

(with AFP)

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