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ICJ nixes S Africa's request for 'urgent measures' to save Rafah amid Israeli war

Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli strike on a residential building in the city of Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on February 16, 2024. (Photo by AP)

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) refuses to grant South Africa's request for the tribunal to impose "urgent measures" aimed at safeguarding the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, which faces the imminent threat of an Israeli ground invasion.

Known as the world court, the tribunal said in a statement on Friday that the "perilous situation" in Rafah "demands immediate and effective implementation of the provisional measures" that it had ordered January 26.

It said no new order was necessary because the existing measures "are applicable throughout the Gaza Strip, including in Rafah."

The court added that the Israeli regime "remains bound to fully comply with its obligations under the Genocide Convention" and the January 26 ruling, which ordered the regime to do all it can to prevent death, destruction, and any acts of genocide in Gaza.

The regime has been waging a war against the entire Gaza since October 7, 2023 following an operation staged by the coastal sliver's resistance groups, dubbed Operation al-Aqsa Storm.

The war has so far killed around 28,800 Palestinians, mostly women, children, and adolescents.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israeli military to evacuate civilians from Rafah ahead of a planned ground operation against the city.

This is while the city has come to host some 1.5 million Palestinians, who have fled there from the ravages of the Israeli military onslaught in other parts of Gaza.

Aid organizations say Rafah's evacuation will be nearly impossible, given the scale of devastation elsewhere in Gaza and the huge number of people who have been trapped in the besieged area.

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