UN top court orders Israel to open more land crossings to deliver aid to Gaza

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – Top United Nations A court on Thursday ordered Israel to take steps to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza, including opening more land crossings to allow food, water, fuel and other supplies into the war-torn enclave.

The International Court of Justice issued two new so-called provisional measures in a case brought by South Africa accusing Israel of committing genocide in a military operation launched after Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack. Israel denies committing genocide. It says its military operations are in self-defence and against Hamas, not the Palestinian people.

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Thursday’s order was placed after South Africa Citing hunger in Gaza, seek more temporary measures, including a ceasefire. Israel urged the court not to issue a new order.

An aircraft is seen airdropping humanitarian aid in the northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, March 28, 2024, seen from southern Israel. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

In the legally binding order, the court ordered Israel to take “immediate” steps to ensure the “unhindered delivery” of basic services and humanitarian aid, including food, water, fuel and medical supplies.

It also ordered Israel to immediately ensure that its forces refrain from actions that could undermine Palestinian rights under the Genocide Convention, including blocking the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The court ordered Israel to report within a month on its implementation of the order.

On October 7, Israel declared war against bloody cross-border attacks by Hamas that left 1,200 people dead and 250 taken hostage. Israeli airstrikes and ground offensives have killed more than 32,000 Palestinians, according to local health authorities. The fighting has also displaced more than 80 percent of Gaza’s population and caused widespread destruction.

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The United Nations and international aid agencies say nearly all Gaza residents are struggling to get enough food and hundreds of thousands are on the brink of famine, especially in hard-hit northern Gaza.

South Africa welcomed Thursday’s decision, calling it “significant”.

“the fact is Palestine “Deaths are caused not only by bombings and ground attacks, but also by disease and starvation, demonstrating the need to protect the organization’s right to exist,” South Africa’s president said in a statement.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment on the order.

In a written response to South Africa’s call for more measures earlier this month, Israel said South Africa’s claims were “completely unfounded”, “morally repugnant” and “an abuse of the Genocide Convention and the International Court of Justice” itself”.

After sealing Gaza’s borders early in the war, Israel began allowing humanitarian supplies in. It said it had no limits on the amount of humanitarian aid entering Gaza and accused the United Nations of failing to properly organize deliveries.

The United Nations and international aid groups say Israeli military restrictions, ongoing hostilities and a breakdown in public order have hampered the delivery of supplies.

Israel has been working with international partners on a plan to soon begin delivering aid by sea.

Israel has repeatedly been at loggerheads with the United Nations, particularly with UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees and Gaza’s main aid provider. Israel accuses the agency of tolerating and even collaborating with Hamas – a charge UNRWA denies.

The court said in the order that “Palestinians in Gaza no longer face only the risk of famine… but famine is coming.” The report quoted a report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs as saying that at least 31 people have died of malnutrition and dehydration. died, including 27 children.

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The world court said an earlier order against Israel “did not fully address the consequences of the changing situation in Gaza” following a landmark hearing in the South African case.

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On Tuesday, the army said it had inspected 258 aid trucks, but the United Nations had distributed only 116 inside Gaza

COGAT, the Israeli military agency responsible for Palestinian civil affairs, has also launched a pilot project to check humanitarian aid at key checkpoints in southern Israel and then use land crossings in central Gaza to try to deliver aid to the devastated northern Palestinian areas. strip. The agency had no immediate comment on the ICJ’s ruling.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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