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Israel continues to bomb Gaza, including Rafah, despite ICJ ruling

Dozens of Palestinians killed across the besieged territory as Israeli forces hit multiple targets from north to south.

Israel has continued its relentless attacks on Rafah despite the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordering it to put an end to the military operation there, and multiple deaths were reported from central and northern Gaza, which have been subjected to renewed attacks.

The Shaboura camp and areas close to the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah on Saturday were targeted, Al Jazeera’s Hani Mahmoud, reporting from Deir el-Balah, said. Several people who have been injured in the bombardment have been transferred to the hospital, he said.

The hospital renewed its appeal for fuel deliveries “to ensure its continued operation”, saying it was the only one in Rafah governorate still receiving patients.

The ICJ ruling, the third of its kind this year, ordered Israel to halt its offensive, citing “immense risk” to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians taking shelter in Rafah, the southernmost part of Gaza. More than 800,000 Palestinians have been forced to flee Rafah since Israel launched the current offensive on May 7.

The UN’s top court seeks to rein in the mounting death toll of Palestinians since October, while also alleviating a continuing humanitarian crisis resulting from the internal displacement and severe hunger trailing most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people. Nearly 36,000 Palestinians have been killed and vast swaths of Gaza have been flatted by Israeli carpetbombing.

Israel gave no indication it was preparing to change course, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticising the ICJ ruling, calling the charges of genocide brought by South Africa as “false, outrageous and morally repugnant”.

The UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories called on Saturday for sanctions against Israel for defying the court.

“Be sure: Israel will not stop this madness until WE make it stop. Member states must impose sanctions, arms embargo and suspend diplo[matic]/political relations with Israel till it ceases its assault,” Francesca Albanese posted on X.

Stepped up attacks in northern Gaza

Israel also hit a school sheltering displaced people in Gaza’s as-Saftawi neighbourhood in Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, according to Al Jazeera journalists on the ground, citing medical sources.

The Palestinian news agency, Wafa, confirmed that at least 10 people were killed and 17 others injured in the series of attacks on the neighbourhood located just south of Jabalia.

Israeli forces stepped up attacks on Jabalia camp on Saturday, pushing already displaced people to flee the area anew.

Israeli warplanes also bombed a house located in another northern Gaza city of Beit Hanoon, killing 10 people, including women and children, according to Wafa.

In Gaza City, an Israeli attack targeting a family home in the Sabra neighbourhood, killed a woman and injured other people. An unspecified number of people were also reported killed by an Israeli air attack on a residential building in the Daraj neighbourhood, according to Wafa.

Other neighbourhoods of Gaza City, including Sheikh Ajlin, Tal al-Hawa and Zeitoun, also came under heavy artillery shelling, Wafa added, but there were no immediate details on casualties.

As casualties continue to mount in northern Gaza, Israeli troops continue to surround Kamal Adwan Hospital, according to Dr Hussam Abu Safiya, the head of the paediatrics department.

He said that the hospital is unable to treat incoming patients due to the continuous siege. Some patients and premature babies are still inside the hospital, he added.

Abu Safiya said he contacted the Red Cross and UNICEF, but did not get any assurance that anything would be done to end the Israeli siege of the hospital.

Deaths in Wadi Gaza

Meanwhile, Israeli quadcopters also fired on Palestinians congregating in Wadi Gaza, killing at least six people, according to Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud.

Palestinians desperate for aid often gather in Wadi Gaza to try and reach aid trucks coming from the floating pier near Gaza City. Part of the floating pier built by the US has been washed away, according to videos shared on social media on Saturday.

Also in central Gaza, an Israeli air attack on an apartment building in the Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza killed at least four people.

Israeli troops also took over the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, further slowing sporadic deliveries of aid for Gaza’s 2.3 million people. Earlier this week, the UN refugee agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) announced it would suspend food distribution in Rafah, citing a lack of supplies and the lack of security in the densely populated city.

On Friday, UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said on social media site X that the situation had reached “a moment of clarity”.

“At a time when the people of Gaza are staring down famine … it is more critical than ever to heed the calls made over the last seven months: Release the hostages. Agree a ceasefire. End this nightmare.”


Al Jazeera, 2024


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