Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Rafah turned into ‘a de facto refugee camp’: South Africa to UN

South Africa’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations on Tuesday raised concern over Israel extending its genocidal war to Rafah in the southern Gaza strip, which is home to more than 1 million displaced Palestinians.

“The announcement of expanded military operations in Rafah, which has become a de facto refugee camp, further perpetuates Palestinian displacement and threatens civilians’ almost non-existent livelihoods,” Marthinus van Schalkwyk said at a UN Security Council meeting on international peace and security.

This yet again shows the impunity of unhinged Israeli forces, which completely disregard the order of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued on January 26.

The statement came after South Africa urged the ICJ to quickly assess Israel’s plans to expand its ground invasion to Rafah.

It has also asked the court to use its power and prevent a further breach of Palestinians’ rights.

Earlier, South Africa filed a case at the international court, accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza against the 1948 Genocide Convention.

After the hearing, the court issued an interim ruling in January ruling, ordering provisional directions for Israel’s government to refrain from genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian aid is provided to civilians in Gaza.

“This Council continues to witness the devastating effects of armed conflict on civilians, exacerbating humanitarian crises, as well as food and nutrition insecurity. It is a blatant disregard of international humanitarian law, especially non-protection of non-combatants caught in the crossfire, as well as the deliberate denial of access to humanitarian relief, which remains prevalent,” Van Schalkwyk said.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 28,473 Palestinians have been killed, 68,106 wounded and more than 7000 missing in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

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