The ICJ ordered Israel to stop its assault on Rafah. The U.S. needs to act.

Layne Mullett
Director of Media Relations


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Today the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to halt its military offensive against Rafah. The ruling comes after more than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military and 1.1 million face catastrophic levels of hunger. This is a historic decision that should serve as a call to action for all those who have stayed silent in the face of these atrocities.

We call on state parties to the Genocide Convention to fulfill their obligation to prevent genocide by supporting not only an end to the assault on Rafah, but an immediate and permanent ceasefire. This means that they must not only speak out but act to stop the continued perpetration of genocide. If states fail to do this, they undermine the legitimacy and purpose of international law and international legal frameworks which humanity relies on to ensure peace and security for all.

The U.S. bears a particular responsibility as the primary funder of Israel’s genocidal actions and a persistent block to international efforts. At the international level, the U.S. must collaborate with other members of the U.N. Security Council to call for and enforce the implementation of an immediate ceasefire. Domestically, the Biden Administration and the U.S. Congress must call for an immediate ceasefire and impose an arms embargo on Israel. If they do not, they are themselves guilty of complicity in genocide and must be held accountable.

We firmly stand in full solidarity and support with South Africa for bringing this case to the ICJ. While this order alone will not bring an end to the suffering and oppression of Palestinians, it is a pivotal step towards justice. We will continue our efforts with people across the world to bring an end to this genocide and freedom for Palestinians.


The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) promotes a world free of violence, inequality, and oppression. Guided by the Quaker belief in the divine light within each person, we nurture the seeds of change and the respect for human life to fundamentally transform our societies and institutions. We work with people and partners worldwide, of all faiths and backgrounds, to meet urgent community needs, challenge injustice, and build peace.