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Israel strikes Rafah after top UN court orders it to halt offensive

Israel bombed the Gaza Strip, including Rafah, on Saturday, despite an order from the U.N.'s top court for it to "immediately halt" its military offensive in the southern city.

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Top UN court orders Israel to halt military operation in Rafah

The top United Nations court ordered Israel on Friday to immediately halt its military operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah — but stopped short of ordering a full cease-fire. While Israel is unlikely to comply with the order, it will ratchet up the pressure on the increasingly isolated country.

Criticism of Israel's conduct in the war in Gaza has been growing, particularly on operations in Rafah — and even from its closest ally, the United States. This week alone, three European countries announced they would recognize a Palestinian state, and the chief prosecutor for another U.N. court requested arrest warrants for Israeli leaders, along with Hamas officials.

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Macron to host Arab foreign ministers for Gaza talks

French President Emmanuel Macron will on Friday host the foreign ministers of four key Arab states for talks on the war in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas, his office said.

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EU's Borrell urges Israel 'not to intimidate,' 'threaten,' ICC judges

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell on Friday urged Israel "not to intimidate" or "threaten" the judges of the International Criminal Court, whose prosecutor has asked for arrest warrants of Israel's prime minister and defence minister.

"I ask everyone, starting with the Israeli government, but also certain European governments, not to intimidate the judges, not to threaten them," Borrell said during an interview with Spanish public television TVE, calling for "respect for the International Criminal Court".

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Israel army says retrieved bodies of three Gaza hostages

The bodies of three more hostages killed on Oct 7. were recovered overnight from Gaza, Israel's army said Friday, as the top United Nations court prepares to rule on whether Israel must halt its military operations and withdraw from the enclave.

The bodies of Hanan Yablonka, Michel Nisenbaum, and Orion Hernandez Radoux were found and their families have been notified. The army said they were killed on the day of the attack at the Mefalsim intersection and their bodies were taken to Gaza.

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Israel says to stop work of Spanish consulate for Palestinians

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said Friday he had decided to "sever the connection" between Spain's diplomatic mission and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, in response to Madrid's plan to formally recognise a Palestinian state.

"I have decided to sever the connection between Spain's representation in Israel and the Palestinians, and to prohibit the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem from providing services to Palestinians from the West Bank," Katz said in a post on X, adding it was "in response to Spain's recognition of a Palestinian state and the anti-Semitic call by Spain's deputy prime minister to... 'liberate Palestine from the river to the sea'."

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Don't expect UN peacekeepers to stop wars, chief says

The world cannot look to U.N. peacekeepers as a way of stopping wars, whether in Gaza or other active conflict zones, the department chief told AFP, citing the famous Blue Helmets' inherent limitations.

A mission in the occupied Palestinian territories, for example, is only "very, very, very hypothetical," Under Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix said.

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With Hamas holding firm and fighting back in Gaza, Israel faces only bad options

Diminished but not deterred, Hamas is still putting up a fight after seven brutal months of war with Israel, regrouping in some of the hardest-hit areas in northern Gaza and resuming rocket attacks into nearby Israeli communities.

Israel initially made tactical advances against Hamas after a devastating aerial bombardment paved the way for its ground troops. But those early gains have given way to a grinding struggle against an adaptable insurgency — and a growing feeling among many Israelis that their military faces only bad options, drawing comparisons with U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Israel says ready to resume truce talks as Gaza war grinds on

Israel bombed Gaza on Thursday even as it said it was ready to resume stalled talks on a truce and hostage release deal with Hamas to pause the war raging since October 7.

Global pressure for a ceasefire has mounted on Israel and its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as three European countries said Wednesday they would recognise a Palestinian state.

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12 Palestinians killed and 25 wounded in Israel's 2-day West Bank operation

The Israeli military said Thursday it has completed a two-day operation in the occupied West Bank that the Palestinian Health Ministry says killed 12 Palestinians and wounded 25.

The military launched the operation Tuesday in the city of Jenin and an adjacent urban refugee camp as part of a crackdown against militants in the area. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group said its fighters battled the Israeli forces.

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