update deskIsrael at War

Ireland: EU could sanction Israel over ICJ Rafah ruling

“For the first time at an E.U. meeting, in a real way, I’ve seen significant discussion on sanctions,” said Ireland's Foreign Minister Micheál Martin.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosts in Jerusalem Irish Tanaiste and Foreign and Defense Minister Micheál Martin, Sept. 5, 2023. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosts in Jerusalem Irish Tanaiste and Foreign and Defense Minister Micheál Martin, Sept. 5, 2023. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.

Ireland threatened on Monday that the European Union could seek sanctions against Israel if it does not comply with an International Court of Justice ruling regarding the IDF’s ongoing operation in Rafah.

“For the first time at an E.U. meeting, in a real way, I’ve seen significant discussion on sanctions and ‘what if,’” said Ireland’s Foreign Minister Micheál Martin.

However, he continued, there is “some distance between people articulating the need for a sanctions-based approach if Israel does not comply with the ICJ’s ruling…to agreement in the Council meeting, given all of the different perspectives there.”

The ICJ, the principal United Nations judicial arm, located in The Hague, voted by 13 to two on Friday to insist that the Jewish state “immediately halt its military offensive and any other action in the Rafah governorate, which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

International humanitarian law and human rights “is the raison d’etre of the European Union, and events now are really putting that issue into sharp focus, particularly given the attack last night when so many innocent people were killed,” said Martin.

On Sunday night, an Israeli strike on two senior Hamas terrorists near Rafah resulted in the deaths of tens of Palestinian civilians. According to ABC News, Israel told U.S. officials the incident was apparently caused by missile shrapnel igniting a fuel tank some 330 feet from the targeted area.

The targets of the strike were named as Yassin Rabia, head of Hamas’s Judea and Samaria headquarters, and Khaled Nagar, a senior official in the terrorist group’s Judea and Samaria wing.

The IDF spokesperson said earlier that the strike, based on intelligence and executed using precision weaponry, was carried out in accordance with international law.

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