In the 48 hours following the instruction from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to cease the assault on Rafah, the IDF launched over 60 airstrikes against Rafah, culminating in the horrific attack on a displacement camp that Israel had designated as “safe”, killing 45 people, including 23 women, children and elderly, and 249 others were wounded. Many were burned alive in their tents

Starmer said: “I was shocked by what I saw overnight – I think any human being would be shocked by what they saw. It’s got to stop.” He may have been shocked but why has it taken Starmer so long? We have had seven months of intensive bombing, tens of thousands dead or missing, and mounting evidence of Israel’s war crimes. He went on to call for a ceasefire, but only “to allow hostages to come out and aid to get in”. There was no mention of the ICJ judgement or Israel’s key role in blocking aid. And there was no mention of a ceasefire being necessary to stop the slaughter of Palestinians. He went on to call for a two-state solution with a “viable” Palestinian state – a thinly coded reference to a state acceptable to Israel. This is a mealy mouthed and meaningless response. 

Meanwhile, Sunak has said nothing at all, in marked contrast to the outrage expressed by leaders around the world, reported by Al Jazeera.

“The perpetration of this heinous massacre by the Israeli occupation forces is a challenge to all international legitimacy resolutions,” the Palestinian presidency said in a statement, accusing Israeli forces of “deliberately targeting” the tents of displaced people.

Qatar condemned the Rafah attack as a grave violation of international laws that will aggravate the humanitarian crisis in the besieged Gaza Strip. 

Egypt condemned the “deliberate bombardment”. In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on Israel to “implement the measures ordered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concerning an immediate cessation of military operations” in Rafah.

Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said his country would do “everything possible” to hold “barbaric” Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to account over the deadly strikes. 

Spain’s Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares, said the bombing of Rafah was “one more day with innocent Palestinian civilians being killed”. He said the gravity of the attack “is even larger” because it comes after the ICJ order directing Israel to halt its operation in Rafah and the rest of Gaza.

Ireland’s Foreign Minister, Micheál Martin, described the attack as “barbaric”. “One cannot bomb an area like that without shocking consequences in terms of innocent children and civilians. We would urge Israel to stop, to stop now, in terms of the military operation in Rafah.”

Norway’s Foreign Minister, Espen Barth Eide, said the attacks are a “material breach of the decision of the highest court of the world”. He added: “We’ve had a compulsory order from the International Court of Justice ordering Israel to stop its attack in Rafah. It is compulsory. It’s binding.”

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said Israel must abide by the ICJ ruling to stop its offensive in Rafah, as EU foreign ministers met their Arab counterparts in Brussels hours after Israel’s deadly attack on Rafah.

Before the EU ministers’ meeting on Monday, German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, said, “International humanitarian law applies for all, also for Israel’s conduct of the war.”

Italian Defence Minister, Guido Crosetto, said the Israeli attacks were no longer justifiable. “There is an increasingly difficult situation, in which the Palestinian people are being squeezed without regard for the rights of innocent men, women and children who have nothing to do with Hamas and this can no longer be justified.”

Jagmeet Singh, the leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, posted on X: “The world is failing the people of Gaza. Canada is failing the people of Gaza.”

Despite the condemnation so long as America maintains its veto on the UN Security Council and its economic dominance over so many countries the Israelis can murder Palestinians with impunity. Some UK politicians have spoken out against this latest atrocity and expressed the need for sanctions to force Israel to cease its genocide. They are being ignored by the media that is itself complicit in the genocide. The BBC has continually chosen language to lessen the impact of the Israeli assault referring, for example, to an explosion not an airstrike on the displacement camp in their first reports of Sunday’s outrage. 

The world is failing Gaza. As UK citizens we will fail them too if we do not use our votes for candidates who are standing against the genocide, to support the student peace camps and continue to march and to demonstrate our support for Palestine.

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