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Israeli strikes on southern Gaza city of Rafah kill 22, mostly children, as US advances aid package

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Israeli strikes on southern Gaza city of Rafah kill 22, mostly children, as US advances aid package
News

News

Israeli strikes on southern Gaza city of Rafah kill 22, mostly children, as US advances aid package

2024-04-22 07:15 Last Updated At:07:21

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli strikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah overnight killed 22 people, including 18 children, health officials said Sunday, as the United States was on track to approve billions of dollars of additional military aid to Israel, its close ally.

Israel has carried out near-daily air raids on Rafah, where more than half of Gaza's population of 2.3 million has sought refuge from fighting elsewhere. It has also vowed to expand its ground offensive against the Hamas militant group to the city on the border with Egypt despite calls for restraint, including from the U.S.

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Palestinians gather for Eid al-Fitr prayers by the Dome of the Rock shrine in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, Wednesday, April 10, 2024. The holiday marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, when devout Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli strikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah overnight killed 22 people, including 18 children, health officials said Sunday, as the United States was on track to approve billions of dollars of additional military aid to Israel, its close ally.

Palestinians walk on a damaged road following an Israeli military raid in Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinians walk on a damaged road following an Israeli military raid in Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Mourners pray over the bodies of Palestinians, draped in the Islamic Jihad militant group flags, during their funeral in the Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Mourners pray over the bodies of Palestinians, draped in the Islamic Jihad militant group flags, during their funeral in the Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Relatives mourn over the body of a Palestinian man, draped in the Islamic Jihad militant group flags, during his funeral in the Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Relatives mourn over the body of a Palestinian man, draped in the Islamic Jihad militant group flags, during his funeral in the Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinian gunmen fire into the air as mourners carry the body of an Islamic Jihad militant during his funeral in the Nur Shams refugee camp near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinian gunmen fire into the air as mourners carry the body of an Islamic Jihad militant during his funeral in the Nur Shams refugee camp near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Mourners pray during the funeral of 13 Palestinians in the Nur Shams refugee camp near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Mourners pray during the funeral of 13 Palestinians in the Nur Shams refugee camp near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Mourners carry the bodies of Palestinians, some are draped in the Hamas and Islamic Jihad militant group flags during their funeral in the Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Mourners carry the bodies of Palestinians, some are draped in the Hamas and Islamic Jihad militant group flags during their funeral in the Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinians inspect the destruction following an Israeli military raid in Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinians inspect the destruction following an Israeli military raid in Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinians inspect the damaged vehicle in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians inspect the damaged vehicle in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians inspect torched building in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians inspect torched building in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians stand at their damaged shop in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians stand at their damaged shop in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians security officers secure the parameter of damaged buildings in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians security officers secure the parameter of damaged buildings in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians security officers secure the parameter of damaged buildings in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy.(AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians security officers secure the parameter of damaged buildings in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy.(AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians inspect the damaged shops in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians inspect the damaged shops in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinian municipality workers clear the rubble in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinian municipality workers clear the rubble in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians inspect the damaged buildings in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians inspect the damaged buildings in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

A pro-Palestinian demonstrator holds a banner reading ''Rafah, extermination camp'' as they gather on place de Neuve during a protest expressing solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in Geneva, Switzerland, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

A pro-Palestinian demonstrator holds a banner reading ''Rafah, extermination camp'' as they gather on place de Neuve during a protest expressing solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in Geneva, Switzerland, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

A Palestinian youth mourns his relative killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, at the morgue of the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, early Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Ismael Abu Dayyah)

A Palestinian youth mourns his relative killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, at the morgue of the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, early Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Ismael Abu Dayyah)

A Palestinian man sits while mourning his relative killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip at the morgue of the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, early Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Ismael Abu Dayyah)

A Palestinian man sits while mourning his relative killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip at the morgue of the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, early Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Ismael Abu Dayyah)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Supporters of the religious party Jamaat-e-Islami take part in a rally against Israeli airstrikes on Gaza and to show solidarity with the Palestinians, in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Supporters of the religious party Jamaat-e-Islami take part in a rally against Israeli airstrikes on Gaza and to show solidarity with the Palestinians, in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

“In the coming days, we will increase the political and military pressure on Hamas because this is the only way to bring back our hostages and achieve victory. We will land more and painful blows on Hamas — soon," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. He didn't give details.

The first Israeli strike in Rafah killed a man, his wife and their 3-year-old child, according to the nearby Kuwaiti Hospital, which received the bodies. The woman was pregnant and the doctors saved the baby, the hospital said. The second strike killed 17 children and two women from an extended family.

“These children were sleeping. What did they do? What was their fault?” asked one relative, Umm Kareem. Mohammed al-Beheiri said that his daughter, Rasha, and her six children, the youngest 18 months old, were among those killed. A woman and three children were still under the rubble.

The Israel-Hamas war has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, according to local health officials, at least two-thirds of them children and women. It has devastated Gaza's two largest cities and left a swath of destruction. Around 80% of the territory's population have fled to other parts of the besieged coastal enclave.

The $26 billion aid package approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday includes around $9 billion in humanitarian assistance for Gaza, which experts say is on the brink of famine. The U.S. Senate could pass the package as soon as Tuesday, and President Joe Biden has promised to sign it immediately.

The conflict, now in its seventh month, has sparked regional unrest pitting Israel and the U.S. against Iran and allied militant groups across the Middle East. Israel and Iran traded fire directly this month, raising fears of all-out war.

Tensions have also spiked in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Israeli troops killed two Palestinians who the military says attacked a checkpoint with a knife and a gun near the southern West Bank town of Hebron early Sunday. The Palestinian Health Ministry said that the two killed were 18 and 19, from the same family. No Israeli forces were wounded, the army said.

Later, the military said its forces shot dead a 43-year-old Palestinian woman after she tried to stab a soldier in the northern West Bank near Beka’ot settlement.

The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said that it had recovered 14 bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. The military said it killed 14 militants and arrested eight suspects. Ten Israeli soldiers and one border police officer were wounded.

In a separate incident in the West Bank, an Israeli man was wounded in an explosion on Sunday, the Magen David Adom rescue service said. A video circulating online shows a man approaching a Palestinian flag planted in a field. When he kicks it, it appears to trigger an explosive device.

At least 469 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Most have been killed during Israeli military raids or in violent protests.

The war was sparked by an unprecedented Oct. 7 raid into southern Israel in which Hamas and other militants killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted around 250 hostages. Israel says militants are still holding around 100 hostages and the remains of more than 30 others.

Thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets to call for a new election to replace Netanyahu and a deal with Hamas to release the hostages. Netanyahu has vowed to continue the war until Hamas is destroyed and all hostages are returned.

The war has killed at least 34,097 Palestinians and wounded another 76,980, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. The ministry doesn't differentiate between combatants and civilians in its count. It says the real toll is likely higher as many bodies are stuck beneath the rubble or in areas that medics can't reach.

Israel blames Hamas for civilian casualties because the militants fight in dense, residential neighborhoods. The military rarely comments on individual strikes, which often kill women and children. The military says it has killed more than 13,000 Hamas fighters, without providing evidence.

Samy Magdy reported from Cairo. Jack Jeffery contributed to this report from Jerusalem.

Find more of AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

Palestinians gather for Eid al-Fitr prayers by the Dome of the Rock shrine in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, Wednesday, April 10, 2024. The holiday marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, when devout Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Palestinians gather for Eid al-Fitr prayers by the Dome of the Rock shrine in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, Wednesday, April 10, 2024. The holiday marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, when devout Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Palestinians walk on a damaged road following an Israeli military raid in Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinians walk on a damaged road following an Israeli military raid in Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Mourners pray over the bodies of Palestinians, draped in the Islamic Jihad militant group flags, during their funeral in the Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Mourners pray over the bodies of Palestinians, draped in the Islamic Jihad militant group flags, during their funeral in the Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Relatives mourn over the body of a Palestinian man, draped in the Islamic Jihad militant group flags, during his funeral in the Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Relatives mourn over the body of a Palestinian man, draped in the Islamic Jihad militant group flags, during his funeral in the Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinian gunmen fire into the air as mourners carry the body of an Islamic Jihad militant during his funeral in the Nur Shams refugee camp near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinian gunmen fire into the air as mourners carry the body of an Islamic Jihad militant during his funeral in the Nur Shams refugee camp near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Mourners pray during the funeral of 13 Palestinians in the Nur Shams refugee camp near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Mourners pray during the funeral of 13 Palestinians in the Nur Shams refugee camp near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Mourners carry the bodies of Palestinians, some are draped in the Hamas and Islamic Jihad militant group flags during their funeral in the Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Mourners carry the bodies of Palestinians, some are draped in the Hamas and Islamic Jihad militant group flags during their funeral in the Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinians inspect the destruction following an Israeli military raid in Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinians inspect the destruction following an Israeli military raid in Nur Shams refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said 14 bodies have been recovered from the Nur Shams urban refugee camp since an Israeli military operation began in the area Thursday night. The Islamic Jihad militant group confirmed the deaths of three members. Another killed was a 15-year-old boy. The Israeli army said its forces killed 10 militants in the camp and surrounding areas while eight suspects were arrested. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinians inspect the damaged vehicle in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians inspect the damaged vehicle in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians inspect torched building in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians inspect torched building in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians stand at their damaged shop in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians stand at their damaged shop in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians security officers secure the parameter of damaged buildings in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians security officers secure the parameter of damaged buildings in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians security officers secure the parameter of damaged buildings in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy.(AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians security officers secure the parameter of damaged buildings in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy.(AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians inspect the damaged shops in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians inspect the damaged shops in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinian municipality workers clear the rubble in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinian municipality workers clear the rubble in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians inspect the damaged buildings in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Palestinians inspect the damaged buildings in the West Bank refugee camp of Nur Shams, Tulkarem, Sunday, April 21, 2024. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service meanwhile said it has recovered more than a dozen of bodies from an Israeli raid in the Nur Shams urban refugee camp in the West Bank that began late Thursday. Those killed include three militants from the Islamic Jihad group and a 15-year-old boy. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

A pro-Palestinian demonstrator holds a banner reading ''Rafah, extermination camp'' as they gather on place de Neuve during a protest expressing solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in Geneva, Switzerland, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

A pro-Palestinian demonstrator holds a banner reading ''Rafah, extermination camp'' as they gather on place de Neuve during a protest expressing solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in Geneva, Switzerland, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

A Palestinian youth mourns his relative killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, at the morgue of the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, early Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Ismael Abu Dayyah)

A Palestinian youth mourns his relative killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, at the morgue of the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, early Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Ismael Abu Dayyah)

A Palestinian man sits while mourning his relative killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip at the morgue of the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, early Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Ismael Abu Dayyah)

A Palestinian man sits while mourning his relative killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip at the morgue of the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, early Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Ismael Abu Dayyah)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Supporters of the religious party Jamaat-e-Islami take part in a rally against Israeli airstrikes on Gaza and to show solidarity with the Palestinians, in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Supporters of the religious party Jamaat-e-Islami take part in a rally against Israeli airstrikes on Gaza and to show solidarity with the Palestinians, in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, April 20, 2024. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Israel was told to halt its military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, but judges on the top United Nations court stopped short of ordering a full cease-fire throughout the Palestinian territory.

The International Court of Justice also ordered Israel to keep the Rafah border crossing open, saying “the humanitarian situation is now to be characterized as disastrous.”

Israel faces global criticism over the mounting death toll and devastating humanitarian crisis in Gaza. More than a million Palestinians fled Rafah in recent weeks as Israeli forces pressed deeper into the city. People displaced by fighting lack shelter, food, water and other essentials for survival, the U.N. humanitarian agency said Wednesday.

The cease-fire request is part of a case filed late last year by South Africa accusing Israel of committing genocide during its Gaza campaign. Israel vehemently denies the allegations. The case at will take years to resolve, but South Africa wants interim orders to protect Palestinians while the legal wrangling continues.

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

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.

Currently:

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

— Top U.N. court orders Israel to halt military operation in Rafah; Israel is unlikely to comply.

— 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:

JERUSALEM — Benny Gantz, one of three members of Israel’s War Cabinet, indicated his country’s military won’t change its conduct in Rafah despite an order from the top U.N. court to halt the widening offensive there.

Gantz’s comments Friday were Israel’s most senior reaction to the International Court of Justice ruling, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not make an immediate public response.

Gantz said Israel “set out on a just and necessary campaign following the brutal massacre of its citizens,” which includes the sending troops into Rafah. Israel portrays the southern city as the last Hamas stronghold.

“We will continue operating in accordance with international law wherever we might operate, while safeguarding to the best extent possible the civilian population,” Gantz said. “Not because of the ICJ, but because of who we are and the values we stand for.”

The world court does not have a police force to enforce its orders, meaning Israel is unlikely to comply.

The court also ordered Israel to reopen the Rafah border crossing. But it did not call for a full cease-fire throughout Gaza as South Africa, which brought the case, requested at hearings last week.

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — South Africa welcomed the top U.N. court’s order for Israel to stop its offensive in southern Gaza, and said it’s up to the U.N. Security Council to take action to enforce the ruling and alleviate the dire humanitarian situation.

Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said the International Court of Justice put forth a “much stronger” set of provisional measures on Friday which were a “very clear call for a cessation.” In an interview with state broadcaster SABC, she said South Africa’s allegation that a genocide is taking place is getting “stronger and stronger by the day.”

She said the U.N. Security Council has the responsibility to now determine measures to protect Palestinians in Gaza.

“We are all seeing the horror unfold and something needs to be done. And we cannot just rely on those who are the executioners of this ongoing onslaught to be the ones to stop it,” she said.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The top United Nations court has ordered Israel to immediately halt its military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah — but stopped short of ordering a full cease-fire.

Although Israel is unlikely to comply with Friday’s 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.

It has even come 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 and Hamas officials.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also under heavy pressure at home to end the war.

While the ruling by the International Court of Justice is a blow to Israel’s international standing, the court does not have a police force to enforce its orders. In another case on its docket, Russia has so far ignored a 2022 order by the court to halt its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron will host Qatar’s prime minister and other officials from Arab nations for talks on the Middle East on Friday, his office said.

It says the meeting at the presidential Elysee Palace will include, along with Qatar’s prime minister, the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Saudia Arabia, and France. It says they’ll be discussing the Middle East but gave no details

Meanwhile in Washington, a U.S. official said CIA Director Bill Burns is meeting in Paris with Israelis and Qataris in informal talks aimed at getting hostage and cease-fire negotiations back on track, a U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the meetings.

The official gave no time for the discussions.

Burns is in close contact with Egyptian officials, the official said. The Qataris and Egyptians are serving as mediators with Hamas officials, who are not taking part in person in the talks.

__Associated Press writer Ellen Knickmeyer contributed to this report.

BERLIN — Germany pressed Israel and Hamas on Friday to urgently allow the entry and distribution of more humanitarian assistance in Gaza.

German Foreign Ministry spokesperson Christian Wagner said the situation in Gaza was “catastrophic and disastrous.”

“The Isreali government has stressed repeatedly that it wants to flood Gaza with humanitarian aid. Honestly speaking, that is not visible at the moment and that must urgently change,” Wagner said at a government news conference.

“For this, it is essential that more border crossings are opened,” he said. “It is also essential to secure the distribution of humanitarian assistance in Gaza. Hamas also has a responsibility here as well as the Israeli army.”

Wagner said it was important to obtain the release of the Israeli hostages held by Hamas and to keep open the prospect of a political solution to the conflict.

Later Friday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated that demand and said that “the terror organization Hamas must finally release all the remaining hostages and agree to a long-term cease-fire."

“At the same time, Israel must finally secure humanitarian supplies for the desperate people in Gaza,” he added. "Four hundred to five hundred truckloads of aid is needed every day, and it is the responsibility of the Israeli government to ensure that these deliveries arrive.”

Germany, a staunch ally of Israel, supports a revival of talks that could lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. It has so far ruled out joining Norway, Ireland and Spain in recognizing Palestinian statehood, arguing that such a step should be part of the political process.

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.

Palestinian women weep for loved ones, a day after they were killed by Israeli bombardment, at their funeral at Al Aqsa Hospital in Deir al Balah, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Palestinian women weep for loved ones, a day after they were killed by Israeli bombardment, at their funeral at Al Aqsa Hospital in Deir al Balah, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Mourners pray over the bodies of Palestinians, a day after they were killed by Israeli bombardment, at their funeral at Al Aqsa Hospital in Deir al Balah, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Mourners pray over the bodies of Palestinians, a day after they were killed by Israeli bombardment, at their funeral at Al Aqsa Hospital in Deir al Balah, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

The flags of Spain, Ireland, and Norway are displayed on the City Hall building in the West Bank city of Ramallah, after the three countries announced this week that they would recognize Palestinian statehood, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

The flags of Spain, Ireland, and Norway are displayed on the City Hall building in the West Bank city of Ramallah, after the three countries announced this week that they would recognize Palestinian statehood, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Israeli and American activists block the entrance to the U.S. Consulate building that houses the Palestinian Affairs Unit, calling for the United States to stop providing arms to Israel for the war in the Gaza Strip, in Jerusalem, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Israeli and American activists block the entrance to the U.S. Consulate building that houses the Palestinian Affairs Unit, calling for the United States to stop providing arms to Israel for the war in the Gaza Strip, in Jerusalem, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

The bodies of Palestinians are moved to their burial, a day after they were killed by Israeli bombardment, at Al Aqsa Hospital in Deir al Balah, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

The bodies of Palestinians are moved to their burial, a day after they were killed by Israeli bombardment, at Al Aqsa Hospital in Deir al Balah, Friday, May 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

A Palestinian man walks past burning tires during clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Jenin, Wednesday, May 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

A Palestinian man walks past burning tires during clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Jenin, Wednesday, May 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

A boy plays with his ball next to debris of a heavily damaged building after an Israeli forces raid in the West Bank city of Jenin, Thursday, May 23, 2024. 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. Militant groups claimed at least eight of the dead as fighters, one from Hamas and seven from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

A boy plays with his ball next to debris of a heavily damaged building after an Israeli forces raid in the West Bank city of Jenin, Thursday, May 23, 2024. 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. Militant groups claimed at least eight of the dead as fighters, one from Hamas and seven from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Mourners carry the bodies of Palestinians, some are draped in the Islamic Jihad militant group flags during their funeral in the West Bank city of Jenin, Thursday, May 23, 2024. 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. Militant groups claimed at least eight of the dead as fighters, one from Hamas and seven from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Mourners carry the bodies of Palestinians, some are draped in the Islamic Jihad militant group flags during their funeral in the West Bank city of Jenin, Thursday, May 23, 2024. 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. Militant groups claimed at least eight of the dead as fighters, one from Hamas and seven from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinians mourns over the body of the doctor Ossayed Kamal Jabareen, at the government hospital in the West Bank city of Jenin, Thursday, May 23, 2024. 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. Militant groups claimed at least eight of the dead as fighters, one from Hamas and seven from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Palestinians mourns over the body of the doctor Ossayed Kamal Jabareen, at the government hospital in the West Bank city of Jenin, Thursday, May 23, 2024. 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. Militant groups claimed at least eight of the dead as fighters, one from Hamas and seven from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Palestinians wounded in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip are brought to Al Aqsa hospital in Deir al Balah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Palestinians wounded in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip are brought to Al Aqsa hospital in Deir al Balah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Gunmen march as mourners carry the bodies of Palestinians, some draped in the Islamic Jihad militant group flags during their funeral in the West Bank city of Jenin, Thursday, May 23, 2024. 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. Militant groups claimed at least eight of the dead as fighters, one from Hamas and seven from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Gunmen march as mourners carry the bodies of Palestinians, some draped in the Islamic Jihad militant group flags during their funeral in the West Bank city of Jenin, Thursday, May 23, 2024. 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. Militant groups claimed at least eight of the dead as fighters, one from Hamas and seven from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

Relatives and supporters of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza hold photos of their loved ones during a performance calling for their return in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Relatives and supporters of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza hold photos of their loved ones during a performance calling for their return in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

A Palestinian man inspects the damage to a building after Israeli forces raided the West Bank city of Jenin, Thursday, May 23, 2024. The Israeli military said Thursday it has completed a two-day operation in the occupied West Bank that killed and wounded multiple Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group said its fighters battled the Israeli forces. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

A Palestinian man inspects the damage to a building after Israeli forces raided the West Bank city of Jenin, Thursday, May 23, 2024. The Israeli military said Thursday it has completed a two-day operation in the occupied West Bank that killed and wounded multiple Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group said its fighters battled the Israeli forces. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

After being blindfolded, a Palestinian man is detained by Israeli forces during a raid in the West Bank city of Jenin, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

After being blindfolded, a Palestinian man is detained by Israeli forces during a raid in the West Bank city of Jenin, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

A girl looks out from a window of a building damaged by shrapnels after an Israeli forces raid in the West Bank Jenin refugee camp, Thursday, May 23, 2024. 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. Militant groups claimed at least eight of the dead as fighters, one from Hamas and seven from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

A girl looks out from a window of a building damaged by shrapnels after an Israeli forces raid in the West Bank Jenin refugee camp, Thursday, May 23, 2024. 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. Militant groups claimed at least eight of the dead as fighters, one from Hamas and seven from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

A gunman holds up his weapon as mourners carry the bodies of Palestinians, with some draped in the Islamic Jihad militant group flags, during their funeral in the West Bank city of Jenin, Thursday, May 23, 2024. 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. Militant groups claimed at least eight of the dead as fighters, one from Hamas and seven from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

A gunman holds up his weapon as mourners carry the bodies of Palestinians, with some draped in the Islamic Jihad militant group flags, during their funeral in the West Bank city of Jenin, Thursday, May 23, 2024. 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. Militant groups claimed at least eight of the dead as fighters, one from Hamas and seven from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

This combo from photos provided by Hostages Families Forum Headquarters shows from left, Michel Nisenbaum, 59, Hanan Yablonka, 42, and Oryon Hernandez Radoux, 30. The bodies of three more hostages killed on Oct 7. were recovered overnight from Gaza, Israel's army said Friday May 24, 2024. (Hostages Families Forum Headquarters via AP)

This combo from photos provided by Hostages Families Forum Headquarters shows from left, Michel Nisenbaum, 59, Hanan Yablonka, 42, and Oryon Hernandez Radoux, 30. The bodies of three more hostages killed on Oct 7. were recovered overnight from Gaza, Israel's army said Friday May 24, 2024. (Hostages Families Forum Headquarters via AP)

Palestinians wounded in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip are brought to Al Aqsa hospital in Deir al Balah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

Palestinians wounded in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip are brought to Al Aqsa hospital in Deir al Balah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

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