Maldives welcomes ICJ ruling ordering Israel to halt Rafah assault

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu delivers the Maldives’ national statement at the 28th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) on December 1, 2023. (Photo/President's Office)

Maldives has welcomed the United Nations’ top court, International Court of Justice (ICJ)’s order on Israel to immediately halt its military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah in a landmark emergency ruling on South Africa's case accusing Israel of genocide.

Friday’s ruling called on Israel to immediately halt its military offensive in Rafah and order to open the Rafah crossing for unhindered provision at the scale of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance.

Maldivian President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, in a post on X on Friday night, said Maldives welcomed ICJ’s order, issued at the request of South Africa.

“Israel must adhere to this ruling and immediately cease the unspeakable acts of brutality in Rafah. It must also open the Rafah crossing to allow the safe passage of humanitarian aid,” he added.

Describing the order as an essential step towards peace, President Muizzu expressed that the only path to lasting peace was the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

ICJ’s rulings are final and binding. However, they have been ignored in the past as the court lacks enforcement powers.