Friday, June 14, 2024

EU discussing sanctioning Israel if it refuses to comply with ICJ’s ruling: Irish FM

The European Union is discussing sanctioning Israel if Tel Aviv refuses to comply with a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordering it to immediately halt its military campaign in the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip, according to Ireland’s foreign minister.

During a meeting of the European Political Community, EU foreign ministers for the first time discussed the prospect of sanctions against Israel if it continued to disregard the court’s order, stressed Michael Martin, according to public broadcaster RTE.

“Certainly, if compliance isn’t forthcoming, then we have to consider all options,” he said, adding that Ireland would support such an approach.

Martin said some foreign ministers had also raised the prospect of sanctions against Israeli officials who were aiding and abetting violent Israeli settlers in the West Bank.

He added, however, that “there is some distance between people articulating the need for a sanctions-based approach if Israel does not comply with International Court of Justice rulings, (and) obviously there is not an agreement at the EU Council level given the different perspectives there.”

At least 45 people were killed and nearly 250 others injured when Israel targeted a camp for displaced people and houses in the southern Gaza city of Rafah on Sunday, said medical sources and officials.

The attack occurred near the logistics base of the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) in Tal al-Sultan, said the Gaza Media Office.

Israeli aircraft targeted several tents in the area, the media office said, adding that missiles and 2,000-pound bombs were used.

The ICJ ordered Israel on Friday to immediately halt its military offensive in Rafah, open the Rafah crossing and allow access to international fact-finding missions.

Israel has killed more than 36,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7 last year, which killed around 1,200 people.

The military campaign has turned much of the enclave of 2.3 million people into ruins, leaving most civilians homeless and at risk of famine.

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