Israel continues attacks across Gaza, killing dozens

Israel scaled up attacks as South Africa approached the ICJ as part of its case on Israel’s genocide in Gaza to ask for additional provisions to halt Israeli aggression

May 17, 2024 by Abdul Rahman
A man searches among the rubble after an Israeli airstrike in the Nuseirat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, on May 14, 2024. At least 40 people were killed and others injured after midnight Monday by Israeli bombardment in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. Photo: Xinhua News

The Israeli war machine continues its incessant killing of innocent Palestinians in Gaza defying the continued protests across the world and a fresh hearing in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over additional provisional measures to halt Israeli aggression in Rafah.

On the second day of hearing in the ICJ Israel rejected South Africa’s demands for provisional measures declaring that it should not be ordered by the court to withdraw from Gaza as it would be a violation of Israel’s rights under international laws.

South Africa has demanded the withdrawal of Israeli forces and immediate halt of its military assaults in Rafah as a second set of provisional measures in its ongoing case against Israeli genocide in Gaza. The ICJ had issued a set of provisional measures in January this year in the case, asking for increased access to humanitarian aid to Palestinians among other things. This was expanded in March.

Meanwhile, fresh Israeli bombings in different parts of the besieged territory on Thursday and early morning Friday, May 17 killed dozens more taking the total number of Palestinians killed in Israeli war in Gaza since October 7 to over 35,303 according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Close to 80,000 Palestinians have been wounded in the Israeli war so far.

According to the local reports, fighting continues in Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza. Israeli troops have deployed tanks and heavy artillery killing people, deliberately destroying more residential buildings, and forcing Palestinians to move to western parts of Gaza city.

Israel also bombed al-Nuseirat refugee camp again, killing at least four people taking shelter in a school in central Gaza. They also launched several rounds of bombings in different parts of Rafah including in front of the Kuwaiti Hospital.

Israel continues to target Rafah

Though Israel has not launched the full-scale ground offensive in Rafah as it has threatened, it has bombed the densely populated region on a daily basis. It has even forcibly evacuated areas in Rafah over the last two weeks despite disapproval from the world community. According to the reports, nearly 600,000 Palestinians have been forced out of Rafah so far.

Nearly half of Gaza’s pre-war population of over 2 million took shelter in Rafah in the south of Gaza strip since the beginning of the Israeli war. Most of them were forced to live in temporary shelters or under the open sky for the last seven months as they could not move back to their homes destroyed due to the Israeli war.

On Thursday, South Africa’s lawyers had warned the ICJ that Rafah is the final stand to save the Palestinian life in Gaza and the court should pass an order to prevent Israel from attacking it.

Amid this week’s ICJ hearing and before the provisional measures were rejected, the Palestinian Authority had stated, “instead of halting its genocide and complying with the International Court of Justice’s orders, Israel has taken deliberate steps to expand it” including “closing borders, aggression of Rafah and stopping life saving aid such as food, water, fuel and medicine.” It also stated that “ICJ bears a historic responsibility to uphold the principles and values embodied in the Genocide Convention, preventing a rogue state from escaping accountability and addressing the complicity of many other states.”

According to news reports on Friday, 13 countries, including all members of the G7 have written a letter to Israel asking it desist from moving its forces into Rafah.

Israel remains defiant to the international appeals and warnings over Rafah. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly claimed that a ground offensive to Rafah is imminent and necessary to achieve Israel’s alleged war objective of “finishing” Hamas.