Israel’s utter contempt of the ICJ and world opinion

On May 24, the United Nation’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an order for Israel to immediately stop its invasion of Rafah. This followed the launching of the latest military offensive by Israel on Rafah starting May 7.

Rafah is the southernmost town in Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been forced to take shelter, seeking to escape the relentless bombings and devastation by Israeli forces in Gaza since October 7 last year. Over the last two weeks, Israel has reduced entire neighbourhoods in Rafah to rubble. More than 800,000 Palestinians have been forced to flee Rafah since Israel launched its current offensive.

Earlier, on January 26, 2024, the Court had ordered Israel to take all measures to prevent any acts that could be considered genocidal according to the 1948 UN Genocide Convention. The latest ICJ ruling, ordering Israel to halt its offensive on the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians taking shelter in Rafah, is the third such ruling of the ICJ this year, ordering Israel to stop its barbaric attacks on the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

Citing the “immense risk” to Palestinians in Gaza, the ICJ said Israel must “immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah Governorate, which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”.

Israel’s violation of the ICJ order 

Israel has continued its relentless attacks on Rafah in blatant defiance of the ICJ order. Relief camps sheltering the Palestinians forced to flee from the other parts of Gaza are being systematically attacked.

The Shaboura camp and areas close to the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah were bombed by Israeli forces on May 25. On May 27, Israeli forces bombed a tent camp in Tal as-Sultan housing displaced people, in a designated safe zone in Rafah, killing more than 40 Palestinians. Many of the victims were women and children. Emergency workers have rushed people wounded in the attack to the hospitals and medical centres in Rafah, which are unable to cope with the rising numbers of the sick and wounded, many of whom have suffered severe burns. The Palestinian Authority denounced it as a “heinous massacre”. The attack has drawn world-wide condemnation.

Simultaneously, Israeli forces continued attacks across other parts of the Gaza Strip, resulting in many deaths. Shelters housing displaced Palestinians in Jabalia, Nuseirat and Gaza City, were bombed, killing at least 160 people on May 27, according to Palestinian officials.

Growing isolation of Israel

Norway, Spain, and Ireland announced on May 22, that they will officially recognise Palestine as an independent state on May 28. More than 140 other countries have already done so. These countries hope that in this way they will be able to put pressure on Israel as well as its allies, the US, UK and other European powers, to end the genocidal war on the Palestinian people.

The leaders of these countries have stated that they are in favour of a political solution — consisting of two states for Palestinians and Israelis, living side by side, in peace and security.

Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people has shocked the conscience of people all over the world. People in US, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, India and many other countries have expressed their outrage at the genocide . Students in university campuses have come out in large numbers, defying brutal repression by the authorities, to demand an end to the genocide. Across the US and in nearly every country of Europe, Asia and Latin America, people are coming on to the streets in tens of thousands, demanding an end to the genocide.The majority of member states of the United Nations, the Non Aligned Movement, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League, among others, have unanimously called for a ceasefire.

On April 5 this year, the UN Human Rights Council voted on a resolution supported by 28 countries. The resolution gave the call “to cease the sale, transfer and diversion of arms, munitions and other military equipment to Israel”, reflecting this overwhelming sentiment of the world’s peoples.

Source of Israel’s brazen defiance of world opinion

The support of US imperialism is what lies behind Israel’s continued offensive in brazen defiance of the ICJ ruling and world public opinion.

The US administration is under increasing pressure from its own people to halt military assistance and supplies to Israel. In early May, the US government said it would withhold more weapons supplies if Israel went ahead with a large-scale operation in Rafah. However, the truth is that the US government continues to arm Israel and support its genocidal war against the Palestinian people in every international forum.

The hypocrisy of the US government is seen from the fact that on May 10, the US State Department released a report showing that the weapons it provided to Israel during its war on Gaza have been used in violation of international humanitarian law. However, the same report said that Israel’s assurances that it is not using US arms to commit abuses are “credible and reliable” — and that the US can therefore continue to provide those weapons. In other words, the US administration is bending over backwards to defend its military assistance and support for Israel in the genocide of Palestinians.

On May 24, the US and the UK announced that they reject the ICJ order despite having earlier stated that they would not support a military offensive in Rafah. Allies of Israel in Europe, notably Germany, France, and the UK have announced that they stand by Israel, denying the charges of the ICJ and insisting that Israel has the “right to defend itself.”

In the UN Security Council, the US has repeatedly vetoed any condemnation or punitive action against Israel.


Only the united struggle of people around the world can halt the genocidal war unleashed by Israel against the Palestinian people, with the full backing of the US imperialists. This struggle must be continued and intensified, until the full realization of the national rights of the Palestinian people.

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