A South African leader welcomed the court's affirmation that "the perilous situation demands immediate and effective implementation of the provisional measures" from its earlier ruling.
As Israeli forces plan a full-scale assault on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, the International Court of Justice on Friday forcefully reminded Israel that it must comply with a January order to meet its obligations under the Genocide Convention.
South Africa—which is leading the genocide case against Israel that led to six provisional measures from the ICJ last month—asked the World Court for emergency action on Tuesday in light of the Israeli plan to attack Rafah, whose population has surged to roughly 1.5 million as Palestinians have fled bombings and raids in northern Gaza.
"The court notes that the most recent developments in the Gaza Strip, and in Rafah in particular, 'would exponentially increase what is already a humanitarian nightmare with untold regional consequences,'" the ICJ said Friday, quoting United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres' remarks to the U.N. General Assembly last week.
"This perilous situation demands immediate and effective implementation of the provisional measures indicated by the court in its order of 26 January 2024, which are applicable throughout the Gaza Strip, including in Rafah, and does not demand the indication of additional provisional measures," the World Court continued.
"The court emphasizes that the state of Israel remains bound to fully comply with its obligations under the Genocide Convention and with the said order, including by ensuring the safety and security of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip," the ICJ added.
Clayson Monyela of South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation said on social media that his country welcomes the development.
"The court has affirmed our view that the perilous situation demands immediate and effective implementation of the provisional measures indicated by the court in its order of 26 January 2024 which are applicable throughout the Gaza Strip and has clarified that this includes Rafah," he said.
The ICJ's decision comes as countries including South Africa prepare to participate in hearings before the Hague-based court next week about Israel's 57-year occupation of Palestine. South African representatives are set to present second, after the Palestinians.