DECEMBER 9, 2022
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South Africa Urges UN Court to Assess Israel's Actions in Gaza's Rafah

South Africa Urges UN Court to Assess Israel's Actions in Gaza's Rafah

South Africa's government has submitted an "urgent request" to the United Nations' International Court of Justice (ICJ), urging it to evaluate whether Israel's military operations targeting Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip violate provisional orders issued by the court last month in a genocide case. The request questions the legality of Israel's airstrikes on Rafah and its proposed ground offensive in a city where 1.4 million Palestinians have sought refuge, potentially breaching the U.N. Genocide Convention and the ICJ's preliminary rulings.

Rafah's critical status as a refuge for many Palestinians, coupled with Egypt's warnings of potential disaster if an offensive occurs, underscores the urgency of South Africa's plea. The government implores the ICJ to utilize its authority to issue additional preliminary orders, urging Israel to cease the violence and destruction in Rafah.

South Africa has previously accused Israel of genocide against Palestinians in its conflict with Hamas and filed a case with the ICJ in December. While South Africa has also called for a ceasefire, the ICJ justices have not yet ruled on this matter.

In its latest filing, South Africa expresses grave concern over the mounting casualties and destruction resulting from Israel's military offensive in Rafah. The government emphasizes the need for swift action from the ICJ, especially in light of the daily death toll in Gaza.

The ICJ confirmed receipt of South Africa's request, but further commentary was not provided. If the court decides to hold another hearing on the matter, a ruling could be expected within weeks.

Israel maintains that it is not committing genocide in Gaza, asserting that it targets Hamas militants while striving to minimize civilian casualties. It attributes the difficulty of avoiding civilian casualties to Hamas' practice of embedding in civilian areas.

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On this day

On This Day

On this day, 2004, the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, under the control of American forces, was attacked without clear reason, leading to the death of 22 detainees. During the American invasion of Iraq, military personnel and CIA forces committed numerous human rights violations against detainees, including physical and sexual abuse, torture, rape, and murder. 

في مثل هذا اليوم من عام 2004، تعرضت السجن المشهور أبو غريب، تحت سيطرة القوات الأمريكية، لهجوم دون سبب واضح، مما أدى إلى مقتل 22 معتقلاً. خلال الغزو الأمريكي للعراق، ارتكب الشخصيات العسكرية وقوات وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية العديد من انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان ضد المعتقلين، بما في ذلك الإيذاء الجسدي والجنسي، والتعذيب، والاغتصاب، والقتل. 

on this day