Micheál Martin welcomes ICJ’s ‘crystal clear’ orders and says Israel must comply

Israel has ‘chosen to disregard’ requests not to proceed with Rafah offensive but ‘cannot choose to disregard’ the orders from International Court of Justice, Tánaiste says

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has welcomed the order from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for Israel to “immediately halt” its military offensive in Rafah, where more than a million “extremely vulnerable” Palestinians continue to try and shelter from its bombardment.

Mr Martin said the court orders were “crystal clear” and along with the demand for Israel to “immediately halt its military offensive,” the ICJ had ordered Israel to open the Rafah crossing for “unhindered provision at scale of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance”.

He also noted that it had ordered Israel to “ensure the unimpeded access to the Gaza Strip of any commission of inquiry, fact-finding mission or other investigative body mandated by competent organs of the United Nations to investigate allegations of genocide”.

In a statement issued on Friday night, Mr Martin pointed out that the view of the international community “has long been clear on these issues. Universally, partners have urged Israel not to proceed with its offensive in Rafah and to ensure full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access in Gaza”.

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He said Israel has “chosen to disregard these requests but it cannot choose to disregard the orders from the International Court of Justice. These are legally binding. They must be complied with”.

The Tánaiste said it was his “heartfelt hope that we are reaching a turning point in this devastating conflict” and he called on all parties “with the utmost urgency, [to] intensify efforts to secure an immediate ceasefire, the unconditional release of hostages and massively scaled-up access and distribution of humanitarian aid.”

His statement concluded by saying it was “time to take concrete and irreversible steps to implement a two-state solution.” He added that this would be his focus when he meets European and Arab partners in Brussels in the coming days.

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