The Latest | Israel finds 3 hostages' bodies in Gaza as it braces for UN court ruling

The Latest | Israel finds 3 hostages' bodies in Gaza as it braces for UN court ruling

The Latest | Israel finds 3 hostages' bodies in Gaza as it braces for UN court ruling

Israel is bracing for the top United Nations court to rule Friday on whether it must halt its military operations and withdraw from Gaza

ByThe Associated Press

May 24, 2024, 4:59 AM

    Israel is bracing for the top United Nations court to rule Friday on whether it must halt its military operations and withdraw from Gaza.

    After seven brutal months of war with Israel, Hamas has regrouped in some of the hardest-hit areas in northern Gaza, resuming rocket attacks into nearby Israeli communities. Israel says its troops are operating in Rafah, central Gaza and in Jabaliya in the north.

    Israel launched its war in Gaza after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed about 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250. Israel says around 100 hostages are still captive in Gaza, along with the bodies of around 30 more. The Israeli army said Friday that it recovered the bodies of three more hostages killed on Oct. 7.

    Israel faces global criticism over the mounting death toll and devastating humanitarian crisis in Gaza. More than 900,000 Palestinians have been displaced by fighting in the past few weeks alone, and now lack shelter, food, water and other essentials, the U.N. humanitarian agency said Wednesday.

    At least 35,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, according to the Health Ministry, which doesn’t distinguish between combatants and civilians.

    Currently:

    — Israel’s army says the bodies of three more hostages killed on Oct. 7 were recovered overnight from Gaza.

    — The top U.N. court is set to rule on a request for it to order Israel to halt its offensive in Gaza.

    — The Security Council will vote on resolution decrying attacks on the U.N. and aid workers, and demanding protection.

    — Iran inters its late president at the holiest Shiite site in the nation after a fatal helicopter crash.

    — More aid is getting from the U.S. pier to people in Gaza after a troubled launch.

    Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Gaza at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.

    Here's the latest:

    TEL AVIV, Israel — The bodies of three more hostages killed on Oct 7. were recovered overnight from Gaza, Israel’s army said Friday, as the country braces for the top United Nations court 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.

    The announcement comes less than a week after the army said it found the bodies of three other Israeli hostages killed on Oct. 7.

    Hamas-led militants killed around 1,200 people, mainly civilians, and abducted around 250 others in the Oct. 7 attack. Around half of those hostages have since been freed, most in swaps for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel during a weeklong cease-fire in November.

    Israel says around 100 hostages are still captive in Gaza, along with the bodies of around 30 more.

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The top United Nations court is ruling Friday on an urgent plea by South Africa to order Israel to halt its military operations in Gaza and withdraw from the enclave.

    Israel is unlikely to comply with any such order. Even so, a cease-fire order by judges of the International Court of Justice would heap more pressure on an increasingly isolated Israel as it continues its military assault on Gaza following the deadly Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas-led militants.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also under heavy pressure at home to end the war. Thousands of Israelis have joined weekly demonstrations calling on the government to reach a deal to bring home Israeli hostages in Hamas captivity, fearing that time is running out.

    The International Court of Justice has broad powers to order a cease-fire and other measures, but it does not have its own enforcement apparatus.

    Friday’s ruling comes just days after the prosecutor of another court in The Hague, the International Criminal Court, announced he is seeking arrest warrants for Netanyahu, as well as Israel’s defense minister and three Hamas leaders.

    UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to vote Friday on a resolution that strongly condemns attacks on humanitarian workers and U.N. personnel. It also demands that all combatants protect them in accordance with international law.

    The Swiss-sponsored resolution expresses grave concern at the growing number of attacks and threats against U.N. and humanitarian personnel and the disregard for and violations of international humanitarian law by combatants. Switzerland’s U.N. Ambassador Pascale Baeriswyl told The Associated Press on Thursday that the resolution is about protecting those who are putting their lives at risk to help people affected by armed conflict.

    The draft resolution does not single out any conflict and is being voted on as battles rage in Gaza, Ukraine, Sudan, Myanmar and many other hotspots around the world.

    It is the seven-month war in Gaza, however, that has seen the greatest number of attacks on U.N. and humanitarian personnel. Over 190 U.N. staff have been killed, a death toll unprecedented in the United Nations’ nearly 80-year history, according to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

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