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Charities welcome ICJ order to halt Israel’s Rafah offensive

NGOs welcome ICJ order to halt Israel’s Rafah offensive, urge states to ensure compliance
2 min read
25 May, 2024
Charities, including Medical Aid for Palestinians and Oxfam, have welcomed the ICJ's order for Israel to halt its offensive on Rafah.
Oxfam and Medical Aid for Palestinians are two of the 22 charities welcoming the ICJ's order for Israel to halt its assault on Rafah [GETTY]

A number of charities have signed an open letter welcoming the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) order to immediately halt Israel's military offensive in Rafah, while also urging the UK to uphold its measures.

The ICJ on Friday said Israel must "immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah Governorate", while also ordering Israel to keep the Rafah crossing open into Gaza to allow access of humanitarian aid.

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and Oxfam are among the 22 NGOs who welcomed the ICJ's decision and urged the United Kingdom to comply with the ruling.

"The UK must now do everything in its power to ensure that Israel complies with its obligations under international law, including in respect of all of the measures ordered by the ICJ," the statement reads, while also urging for the UK to restart funding to The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and suspend arms.

The US and UK are yet to release a formal reaction to the ruling.

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Despite opposing a major Rafah operation, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said the UK would not withhold arms to Israel.

US officials, including President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have voiced concern over  "major" offensive on Rafah, however reports suggest that Washington would not oppose a scaled down attack.

Hours after the ruling, Israel continued strikes on Rafah and the central city of Deir al-Balah.

Almost 800,000 Palestinians have fled Rafah in the last two weeks since Israel's invasion, according to the United Nations.

At least 35,857 Palestinians have been killed, and 80,293 have been injured since Israel's war on Gaza began on 7 October.