The IOF has killed 280 people and destroyed 220 housing units in Rafah

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THE HAGUE – On Wednesday, the Euro-Med Monitor emphasized the significance of South Africa’s request on February 12 to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concerning Israel’s decision to extend its military operations in Rafah.اضافة اعلان

Rafah, which was home to roughly 280,000 Palestinians prior to the current Israeli attacks, now hosts over 1.4 million people, or more than half of the Gaza Strip's population. The majority of the population are children, seeking refuge in Rafah in response to military evacuation orders from Israel.

The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) attacks against Rafah have already begun, Euro-Med Monitor warned, and include killing, starvation, and deprivation of health services, completely disregarding the ICJ’s decision on January 26, which acknowledged that Israel has violated its obligations under the Genocide Convention.

The IOF has killed about 280 people in Rafah, including about 155 women and children, as well as completely or partially destroyed about 220 housing units in the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, the dire humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people in Rafah Governorate have not been met.

South Africa's request should draw attention to Israel’s disregard for all precautionary measures mandated by the ICJ on January 26. Under these mandates, Israel is required to punish those who instigated the genocide, prevent it from occurring, and take prompt, decisive action to enable the provision of humanitarian aid and essential services, as well as to protect pertinent evidence from destruction.

Euro-Med Monitor reported that the IOF has killed over 1,864 Palestinians, including 690 children and 441 women, and injured over 2,933 more since the ICJ ruling, bringing the death toll of Israel’s war against the Gaza Strip, ongoing since October 7, 2023, to 35,880, including 13,880 children and 7,910 women.

The IOF has continued to bomb and destroy houses even after its military operations in the southern Gaza Strip were supposedly terminated a few weeks ago. The IOF has blown up at least 43 residential squares since the ICJ ruling, with each square containing between 20 to 50 houses, mainly in the Strip’s southern area of Khan Yunis.

Furthermore, in addition to demolishing all structures in the eastern section of the Strip that were situated between 1,000m and 1,500m away from the border fence, the IOF has leveled entire residential squares, with the apparent intent to create a buffer zone that would enclose over 15 percent of the wider Gaza Strip. Euro-Med Monitor confirmed that the Strip does not exceed 365 square kilometers and is among the most densely populated areas in the world.

Instead of ensuring humanitarian aid to civilians in the Gaza Strip, in accordance with the ICJ ruling, Israel has intensified its efforts to impede aid by a number of means. Due to Israeli restrictions, hundreds of thousands of people in the northern Gaza Strip are experiencing severe and ongoing food shortages. In addition, more than half a million people are facing catastrophic conditions amid increasing numbers of deaths resulting from hunger, malnutrition, or related diseases.

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor called South Africa’s request a chance for the International Court of Justice to fulfill its mandate of shielding the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip from Israeli acts of genocide and pressuring Israel to implement genuine measures to save lives, such as a ceasefire. The decision should compel Israel to permit displaced individuals to return to their places of residence, stated Euro-Med Monitor, or, at the very least, should stop Israel from executing its all-encompassing military assault on Rafah.

Should the Rafah attack go through, it would result in an unparalleled humanitarian crisis and endanger the lives of 1.4 million Palestinians.

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