All eyes on Rafah

All eyes on Rafah. After the Israeli raid on May 26 on a refugee camp in Rafah, which caused 45 deaths and hundreds of injuries, this is the slogan that has gained momentum in recent days, flooding social media around the world. The now-viral post has been echoed by the words of many world leaders, who have commented with astonishment and dismay on the fire in the “humanitarian zone” designated by Israel and have once again urged a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the Israeli military operation in the city. In recent days, there has been a collective feeling of having crossed a line that should not have been crossed: there have been numerous condemnations and international reactions to Tel Aviv’s latest moves. On Friday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the United Nations’ highest court, ordered Israel to stop the attack on Rafah. The Court’s judges described the situation on the ground as “disastrous,” stating that the dramatic living conditions of the population have “further deteriorated,” particularly due to the prolonged and widespread deprivation of food: for this reason, Israel must “immediately suspend its military offensive and any other action in the Rafah governorate that could inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza living conditions that could lead to its physical destruction, in whole or in part”. On Tuesday, the governments of Spain, Ireland, and Norway formally recognized the State of Palestine: in this case, international recognition has a highly symbolic and political value, especially in the context of the ongoing war. The decision of the three states follows the vote at the United Nations General Assembly a few weeks ago, where the vast majority of represented countries voted in favor of full recognition of Palestine as a member state. At the moment, Palestine is recognized by nearly two-thirds of the UN member states, but by none of the G7 countries – including Italy. Although the initiative of Spain, Ireland, and Norway and the ICJ ruling were aimed at further pressuring Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to halt the advance in Gaza, they do not appear to have had the desired effect so far. On Thursday, the Israeli army announced that it had taken control of the entire area of the Gaza Strip bordering Egypt.

And even though “all eyes are on Rafah”, there have also been interesting internal developments. This week, the Council of Ministers approved the justice reform. A “historic” reform, as described by Justice Minister Carlo Nordio, because it introduces, for the first time, the principle of separation of careers between investigating and judging judges and also completely redesigns the CSM (Superior Council of the Judiciary), in order to sever the influence of internal factions within the judiciary for the election of Council members. Additionally, a High Court is introduced, a judicial protection body against administrative measures taken by the Superior Councils of the ordinary, administrative, and tax judiciary. The majority’s praise was countered by attacks from the opposition and the National Association of Magistrates, which announced strikes and “battles”. For now, this measure represents a significant political victory for the majority. It is also a boost of self-esteem for Forza Italia, which managed to complete a reform project that Berlusconi had fought for years.