The International Court of Justice today delivered its ruling on the Israeli operation in Rafah, ordering that Israel cease all military operations in the Rafah governate. The case comes as part of a larger petition filed by South Africa against Israel, accusing Israel of genocide of the Palestinian people. Other countries have filed requests to join the case as co-claimants for both sides.

The original case was heard approximately four months ago, with a temporary verdict providing certain interim measures against Israel announced a month after that.

The court called the humanitarian situation in Rafah "disastrous", citing an alleged lack of basic necessities in the city and widespread displacement due to Israeli evacuation orders. It also declared that Israel's humanitarian evacuation and supply efforts have been insufficient to satisfy the existing provisional ruling.

The court ordered that Israel ''take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence'' and ''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.'' Israel was also ordered to ''maintain open land crossing points for humanitarian supplies, and in particular the Rafah crossing, and submit a report on all measures taken within one month.''

Judge Barak of Israel and Judge Sebutinde of Uganda both dissented, as they did in the original ruling. Barak wrote: "The court must decide according to the law and not according to public opinion. We too will be judged - by history."

As part of the verdict, the court called for the immediate release of all remaining hostages, calling it deeply concerning that they remained in captivity.

In January, the court rejected South Africa's request to stop the fighting but issued interim orders regarding the war in Gaza. Now, political officials fear that the tribunal will issue an order to stop the war on the grounds that Israel did not comply with the previous orders it issued. The court today declared that the offensive into Rafah constituted a change that warranted the revision of the provisional measures.

In a hearing held a week ago, South Africa claimed that Israel is violating the court's orders and that "evidence is accumulating that it seeks to commit genocide."

Following the verdict, Prime Minister Netanyahu convene Day telephone conference with the Ministers of Defense, Justice, Foreign Affairs, and Strategic Affairs, as well as the Attorney General, the head of the National Security Council, and other professionals.

The verdict drew a wave of criticism from Israel. A Cabinet spokesman stated that ''No power on earth can stop Israel from defending its citizens or pursuing Hamas in Gaza.''

Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich stated "The State of Israel is at war for its existence. Those who demand that the State of Israel stop the war, demand that it decree itself to cease to exist. We will not agree to that. History will judge who today stood by the Nazis of Hamas and ISIS." MK Tzvi Sukkot, a member of Smotrich's party, stated ''If Israel does not kill Sinwar, he will one day be the President of the ICJ.''

Minister of the Negev, the Galilee and National Resilience, Yitzchak Wasserlauf, called the court biased. "We are deeply shocked by the biased and dangerous decision of the International Court of Justice. This decision is not only shocking, but also a chilling reminder that antisemitism still exists and is being legitimized."

Minister Orit Strock called for the state to ignore the verdict. "The State of Israel is fighting in the Hague for its life. The court that orders it to stop is nothing but an absurdist antisemitic theater and the country that heeds its orders is placing a permanent moral stain on itself."

The Minister of Immigration and Integration, Ofir Sofer, responded: ''The International Court of Justice in its decisions essentially grants a shield to Hamas and blatantly ignores the atrocities, the massacre, the rape of innocent civilians. Israel is committed to the return of the hostages and the destruction of Hamas.''

Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Liberman said the ICJ was helping terrorists. "As I warned, the decision of the Israeli government to appear before the International Court of Justice in The Hague was a serious mistake and a trap with a predetermined end. The court's decision from today proves that various UN institutions, as well as the ICC, have become helpers of terrorists all over the world."

Noam party leader Avi Maoz dismissed the verdict. "We are now committed to the defeat of Hamas and Hezbollah and the return of all our hostages. No one will prevent us from fighting for our lives, our existence, and our national honor.''

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee MK Yuli Edelstein noted an important nuance. "We are not in an operation, we are in a war. When we defeat the terrorists and return all our hostages home, we will end our 'operation'''.

Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir called for Israel to respond to the verdict by intensifying military pressure on Hamas and conquering Rafah completely. MK Almog Cohen, from Minister Ben-Gvir's party, responded ''Hague SHmague - the war will end when Hamas is destroyed.''

Likud MK Danny Danon declared: "The Hague is deliberating in an air-conditioned room while 125 hostages are held by Hamas. We will not stop until all of our children return home."

Hamas welcomed the court's decision regarding Rafah, but said it was still "insufficient", and demanded that the war be ended throughout the Gaza Strip. "We expected the international court to issue a decision to stop the aggression and genocide against our people in all of Gaza, not just Rafah. What is happening in Jabaliya and other districts of Gaza is no less criminal and dangerous than what is happening in Rafah."

The far-left NGO Peace Now called the verdict an opportunity. "The court's decision is an opportunity for a change of direction and the advancement of the Israeli interest. This is a binding decision by virtue of our membership in the international community and the recognition of its institutions, and we must respect it. The Israeli response must be a resounding yes to a regional agreement that is in essence two states. This is the only way to save the hostages and bring security and a better future to the region."

Dr. Gilad Noam, Deputy Attorney General (International Law) at the Justice Ministry, began by stating that the claims made by South Africa are completely unconnected from the reality of what is happening on the ground.

Noam also noted that days before South Africa submitted its latest request to the ICJ, the country hosted a Hamas delegation: "They did not use the meeting to urge Hamas to release the hostages, to stop targeting Israeli civilians, to cease using human shields, to cease operating from within and nearby hospitals, UN facilities, and other protected sites."

Following the ICJ decision, it was reported that US Senator Lindsey Graham, who has recently promoted legislation against the Hague, is planning a trip to Israel in the near future.