Australia says ‘crystal clear’ on Rafah as Israel strikes again despite top UN court’s ruling

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun4,2024
Australia believes Israel should abide by a top United Nations court’s “binding” ruling that its military assault in southern Gaza must stop, a senior minister has said.
Judges at the International Court of Justice, or World Court, , in a landmark emergency ruling in South Africa’s case accusing Israel of genocide.

Israel bombed the Gaza Strip, including Rafah, on Saturday, despite the order.

At the same time, renewed efforts are getting underway in Paris aimed at securing a ceasefire in the war sparked by Hamas’s unprecedented 7 October attack on Israel.
Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said Australia’s position on Rafah is “crystal clear”, that has the scope to get worse.
“We have been very consistent that Rafah should not be attacked,” he said in Sydney on Saturday.
“We are very consistent that the binding rulings to the ICJ should be abided by by all parties, including Israel.”
Bowen said while the court’s ruling, and Israel’s response, was a matter of international law, “Australia can express its view”.
“Either you comply with international law or you don’t,” he added.

“Australia believes international law should be complied with, Australia believes the binding rulings should be complied with and we believe Rafah should not be invaded by Israel.”

Chris Bowen in a dark suit and a floral tie.

Chris Bowen described the situation in Rafah as a “humanitarian disaster” that has the scope to get worse. Source: AAP / Lukas Coch

The International Court of Justice, which is based in The Hague, Netherlands, had also instructed Israel to keep open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, which Israel closed before sending troops and tanks into the besieged city and crossing earlier this month.

The ICJ has no power to enforce its orders.
Israel gave no indication it was preparing to change course in Rafah, insisting the court had got it wrong.

“Israel has not and will not carry out military operations in the Rafah area that create living conditions that could cause the destruction of the Palestinian civilian population, in whole or in part,” National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi said in a joint statement with Israel’s foreign ministry spokesman.

‘Nothing left here’

Despite the ICJ ruling, Israel carried out strikes on the Gaza Strip on Saturday morning as fighting raged between the army and Hamas’s armed wing.
Palestinian witnesses and AFP teams reported Israeli strikes in Rafah and the central city of Deir al-Balah.

“We hope that the court’s decision will put pressure on Israel to end this war of extermination because there is nothing left here,” said Oum Mohammad Al-Ashqa, a Palestinian woman from Gaza City displaced to Deir al-Balah by the war.

 A man checks the damages inside the family home after an Israeli air strike.

A Palestinian man checks the damages inside his family home after an Israeli air strike in Rafah. Source: AAP / Haitham Imad/EPA

Israeli ground troops started moving into Rafah in early May, defying global opposition. It has since ordered mass evacuations from Rafah, with the UN saying more than 800,000 people have fled.

Troops took over the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, further slowing sporadic deliveries of aid for Gaza’s 2.4 million people.

The Zionist Federation of Australia has already said the Australian government should reject the court’s ruling.

“This order sends a message to Hamas and terrorist organisations worldwide that they can commit barbaric attacks and then use civilian populations as human shields to gain immunity, and erodes any remaining credibility of the (court),” President Jeremy Leibler said.
Israel has bombarded Gaza since according to the Israeli government. More than 35,000 people have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in Gaza.
The 7 October attack was a significant escalation in the.
Oxfam’s Middle East and North Africa Regional Director Sally Abi-Khalil called on the Israeli government to comply with the ruling and let in aid.
“All states have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure Israel complies with this order, and that the hundreds of thousands of people sheltering in Rafah are protected,” Abi-Khalil said.

The Australian Palestine Network repeated its call for the federal government to act to “enforce” the World Court’s order by imposing sanctions on Israel, cease exports of weapons components utilised by Israel, expel the Israeli ambassador and recall its ambassador to Israel.

Rallies calling for sanctions

It comes as pro-Palestinian supporters staged rallies at ports around the nation as they ramped up calls for shipping companies to declare any links with Israel, as part of an ongoing call for sanctions.

The action organised by Unionists for Palestine also includes rallies at Parliament House in Darwin and Customs House Plaza in Newcastle.
Construction, Forestry and Maritime Employees Union national secretary Christy Cain said breaking commercial and other ties with Israel was a matter of urgency.
“As unionists, we are proud to continue a long tradition of international solidarity,” Cain said in a statement.
Her sentiments were echoed by Jamie Newlyn, Maritime Union of Australia assistant national secretary, who said workers had a right to know what happened to the efforts of their labour.

The unions are demanding shipping companies that operate in Australian ports declare any trade or cargo with Israel.

They also want trade sanctions, under the global Palestinian-led movement promoting boycotts, divestments, and economic sanctions against Israel.

Bodies of three hostages recovered

The Israeli military said it had recovered the bodies of three hostages taken into Gaza after they were killed on 7 October.
It said the bodies of Hanan Yablonka, Michel Nisenbaum and Orion Hernandez Radoux were recovered overnight in a joint operation by the army and the intelligence services in Jabalia.
Simultaneous Israeli assaults on the northern and southern edges of Gaza in May have caused a new exodus of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fleeing their homes, and have cut off the main access routes for aid, raising the risk of famine.
An Axios report citing an unnamed US official said the heads of the US CIA and Israel’s Mossad would meet in Paris on Friday with the prime minister of Qatar in an attempt to .
Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Australia says ‘crystal clear’ on Rafah as Israel strikes again despite top UN court’s ruling”
  1. Australia believes it is crystal clear that Israel must abide by the UN court’s ruling on Rafah. The situation is a humanitarian disaster that risks worsening. International law should not be ignored. It’s crucial for all parties to comply for peace.

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