UN Orders Israel To Open Land Crossings To Gaza To Allow Food In.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons. The General Assembly of the United Nations.
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The International Court of Justice at the UN on Thursday ordered Israel in a legally binding decree to open more land crossings into Gaza to allow more humanitarian aid for hungry Palestinians into the territory where 50% of buildings have been demolished and thousands of civilians killed, rendered homeless, or are close to starvation.

The order from the International Court of Justice in the Hague told Israel to take “all necessary and effective measures to ensure, without delay” to send in “urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance,” including food, water, fuel and medical supplies.

The court also ordered Israel to immediately ensure “that its military does not commit acts which constitute a violation of any of the rights of the Palestinians in Gaza as a protected group under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, including by preventing, through any action, the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance.”

The court told Israel to report back within a month on how it was implementing the orders.

Israel has called allegations it is blocking aid “wholly unfounded”.  It said that Hamas was to blame for the situation in Gaza and for starting the war.

Israel has stringently denied committing genocide in its conduct of the nearly six-month war against Hamas militants. It urged the U.N. court not to issue new orders.

The order came in a case brought by South Africa accusing Israel of acts of genocide in Gaza. The conflict started with Hamas’s shock October 7 attack on Israel that killed 1,200 and led to the capture of about 250 hostages.

Israel’s counteroffensive in Gaza has killed more than 32,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and according to the Israeli military, several thousand Hamas militants.

Israel’s military reported fighting Thursday near the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, as well as in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

The Health Ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip said Thursday that 62 Palestinians had been killed during the previous day.

In a reversal, Israel agreed Wednesday to send its war strategists to Washington to discuss its intention to launch a ground assault on Hamas militants in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

On Monday, Israel had called off the trip in protest of the U.S. refusal to veto a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire.

The United States, Israel’s staunchest ally, abstained from this week’s U.N. vote after vetoing similar resolutions earlier. That drew a rebuke from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, evidence of a growing split with Washington over Israel’s conduct of the war.

But even as Netanyahu called off a trip by one set of his war strategists, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant was in Washington for talks this week with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Netanyahu has said a Rafah attack is necessary to erase any Hamas control of Gaza, the narrow enclave along the Mediterranean Sea. But the U.S. has told Israel it is opposed to a Rafah invasion, especially since more than a million Palestinian civilians are sheltered there in makeshift tents and structures.

Israel has said it will move the Palestinians to safety before any attack on four Hamas battalions based in Rafah, but it has not indicated where it would send them.

While maintaining that the U.S. abstention was “very, very bad,” Netanyahu told visiting U.S. Republican Senator Rick Scott that his initial cancellation of the Israeli delegation’s trip “was a message first and foremost to Hamas: Don’t bet on this [United Nations] pressure [for a cease-fire]. It’s not going to work.”

Netanyahu said the Security Council vote “encouraged Hamas to take a hard line and to believe that international pressure will prevent Israel” from achieving its war aims. Israel has vowed to keep fighting until the Hamas military is destroyed and the remaining 100 or so hostages it is holding are freed.

The White House said that it was “a good thing” to hold more talks with Israeli officials and that a date is being discussed.

Source: VOA
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