Bombings by the Israeli army and ground fighting continued on Friday May 24 in the Gaza Strip, while the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on a request to stop the military offensive in the Palestinian territory ravaged by more than seven months of war.

In retaliation for the attack on October 7, 2023, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, Israel launched a military operation that has so far left 35,800 dead in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to data from the health ministry of the Hamas-led Gaza government.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the highest court of the United Nations, ordered Israel on Friday, May 24, to “immediately” stop its military offensive in Rafah. The orders of the ICJ, which decides disputes between states, are legally binding, but it has no way of enforcing them.

“Israel has not and will not carry out military operations in the Rafah area that create living conditions likely to lead to the destruction of the Palestinian civilian population, in whole or in part,” responded in a statement jointly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Security Council of the Jewish State.

For its part, Hamas welcomed the ICJ’s decision, while deploring that it does not concern the entire Gaza Strip.

This decision comes days after the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court requested arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his defense minister and three Hamas leaders for alleged crimes committed in the Gaza Strip. Gaza and Israel.

The Israeli army said on Friday morning that it was continuing its operations in Jabaliya, in the north of the Gaza Strip, and in the neighboring displaced persons camp of the same name. The Kamal Adwan hospital in Jabaliya is “out of service, and fourteen members of the medical staff are trapped inside,” a medical source from the establishment told Agence France-Presse (AFP). On Friday, Al-Ahli Arabi hospital in Gaza City counted seven deaths and warned of a shortage of medicine and fuel, essential to power generators.

Al-Aqsa Hospital, in Deir Al-Balah (Center), for its part called on the international community “to provide 50,000 liters of fuel (…) in the coming hours in order to avoid a humanitarian and health catastrophe,” said a senior official at the establishment.

In addition to Kerem Shalom, the main crossing point from Israel to the Gaza Strip, located in the south of the Palestinian territory, the Israeli authorities also have control over the Palestinian side of the other major southern crossing point, Rafah. , on the border with Egypt, paralyzing fuel deliveries, according to the UN.

During the night, Israeli warplanes flew over Gaza, and shots were heard southeast of this large city in the north of the Palestinian territory, AFP noted, also reporting that Israeli warships had struck the side. The Israeli army reported gunfire and mortars hitting soldiers in the Center.

The Israeli army announced on Friday that it had recovered the bodies of three hostages held in the Gaza Strip since October 7, 2023. “The bodies of hostages [Chanan] Yablonka [Israeli], Michel Nisenbaum [Israeli-Brazilian] and Orion Hernandez[-Radoux, Franco-Mexican] were recovered during the night during a joint operation” by the army and Israeli intelligence services in Jabaliya, in the north of the territory at war, the army communicated in a message published on Telegram.

According to the Israeli army, these hostages “were murdered during the October 7 massacre” and their bodies were then transported from Kibbutz Mefalsim in the Gaza Strip by Hamas terrorists. According to the same source, an identification procedure carried out by the Israeli National Forensic Institute and the Israeli police made it possible to inform the families on Friday.

The three men were among 124 people still held in Gaza, out of 252 kidnapped on October 7. The number of hostages still held now stands at 121, of whom 37 are dead, according to the Israeli army. The three bodies were returned to Israel.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz announced that he had “decided to cut the link” between the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem and the Palestinians. This is a “response” to Madrid’s recent recognition of the State of Palestine and an “anti-Semitic call” from a Spanish minister.

Asked about the practical modalities and concrete consequences of implementing the decision announced by Mr. Katz, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs had not responded to Agence France-Presse by mid-morning.

Spain, Ireland and Norway announced on Wednesday their decision to recognize the State of Palestine from May 28, provoking the fury of Israel, which denounced a “reward for terrorism”. On Thursday, Israel’s ambassador to Spain condemned as “a call for the elimination of Israel” statements by the number three in the Spanish government, Yolanda Diaz, leader of the far-left Sumar party and minister of work.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi pledged, in a telephone exchange with Joe Biden, to “let humanitarian assistance provided by the United Nations through the Kerem Shalom crossing point, on an interim basis, in for further distribution throughout Gaza,” the White House said in a statement Friday.

“This will help save lives”, according to Washington, which specifies that the American president is for his part “fully committed” to working towards the reopening of another strategic crossing point, that of Rafah, in the border between Egypt and the Palestinian territory. “The two leaders also consulted on new initiatives aimed at securing the release of the hostages as well as an immediate and lasting ceasefire in Gaza,” assures the White House.