Rafah: is the pressure on Israel growing?

The UN Security Council will decide on a resolution calling for an immediate end to Israel's Rafah offensive today. The International Court of Justice had previously passed a ruling which many interpret as a call on Israel to stop its offensive. Commentators are divided over the implications.

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Skai (GR) /

Sanctions unlikely, but...

Economist Nikitas Simos writes for the Skai TV website:

“According to analysts, even if the ICJ's ruling does not effectively lead to sanctions - the US would veto a proposal to the Security Council - it could have an impact on other countries' treatment of Israel, particularly in terms of the stepping up of its military operations. It's possible that Washington and European governments will restrict arms supplies to Israel and in some cases perhaps downgrade diplomatic relations. There is hope that these efforts will be successful, since the balance in the Middle East has now been dangerously shaken up.”

Kronen Zeitung (AT) /

Ignorance is strengthening Hamas

Kronen Zeitung warns against falling for Hamas's duplicity:

“No sooner had the World Court banned Israel from attacking Rafah than Hamas fired rockets at Tel Aviv from Rafah for the first time in months. It even boasted about this attack on civilian targets. But when Israel responded with an airstrike on the launching pads, Hamas denounced the tragic number of civilian casualties. This is the kind of cynicism that Hamas uses to gain sympathy from the world. The International Court is strengthening it with its ignorance, reinforcing its will to persevere and thereby prolonging the war.”

The Guardian (GB) /

Those who remain silent are complicit

It's high time the US distanced itself from Israel, says The Guardian:

“The US has actively shielded its ally from a bitter reckoning over the Gazan war. Washington even went as far as to belittle South Africa's case before the international court of justice. ... Mr Biden's decision to stand by Israel in this manner risks undermining the rules-based international order that America should be defending. In fact, the US may itself face legal consequences for being complicit in international crimes, should genocide be established in Gaza.”

Yeni Şafak (TR) /

The Islamic world must speak out

Israel's offensive in Rafah can only be halted by united protest, writes the Islamic-conservative Yeni Şafak:

“Neither the US nor the European countries see all these outrages as a problem that warrants sanctions. ... This also stems from the unlimited silence of the Arab-Islamic world. ... So far, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan in particular have not raised a strong voice against Israel. Yet every bomb that falls on Gaza is a blow to the honour and dignity of the entire Arab and Islamic world. ... If they made a little noise, things could be very different.”

Público (PT) /

Humanitarian justice disregarded

Continuing to support this Israeli government calls into question the international legal order, argues Público:

“The EU must decide whether to support Benjamin Netanyahu's government or respect the decisions of international institutions. It's no secret: the Western powers have opted to do the former at the expense of justice and humanitarian law, a precedent that will continue to be used in the future to boycott any decision by an international body.”

Kathimerini (GR) /

Israel needs a new leadership

Those who want to secure Israel's future must stop supporting the Netanyahu government and its actions, Kathimerini demands:

“As the war continues, as reaction grows at the level of societies, countries and international institutions (such as the International Court of Justice), Israel's friends are weakened and its enemies emboldened. Can the cycle of violence be broken without one or other side being destroyed? This would take leadership that has the legitimacy and the guts to pursue a viable solution. It would need support from the international community in terms of a plan, money and enough space to assure the survival of both sides. Today all of this looks more improbable than ever.”

Index (HU) /

Backing Netanyahu no longer worthwhile

Index appeals to the people of Israel:

“Although many in Israel are outraged by the arrest warrant request submitted by ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan, Israeli society should really be asking itself whether it is still worth backing the Netanyahu government. For some time now, Netanyahu and his clique have been primarily preoccupied with how they can maintain their grip on power for as long as possible and escape the mills of justice, and the war essentially serves only this purpose. It is not certain that preserving the power of a head of government is worth the world increasingly seeing Israel as the aggressor rather than the victim.”

Avvenire (IT) /

War is condoned far too easily

The really tragic mistake is the normalisation of violent combat, Avvenire complains:

“There can be no question of denying individual responsibility. ... It would be short-sighted, however, not to examine the structural causes of the hostilities. ... It is the states that have lost their way when they consider war to be a viable and sensible means of settling disputes in the 21st century. It is the analysts when they repeat that it is 'inevitable', confusing conflict with its resolution through bloodshed. ... The intellectuals, when they claim that war is the rule of history and peace the exception, as if these were ontological categories rather than socially constructed phenomena.”