A defiant Netanyahu says no one can stop the war Israel is waging to crush Hamas, including the International Court.

RAFAH (Gaza Strip) – Israel will continue its war against Hamas until victory and no one, including the International Court, will stop it, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a defiant speech on Saturday, as fighting in Gaza approaches 100 metres. Sign of the day.

Netanyahu spoke after the International Court of Justice in The Hague held two days of hearings South African claims That Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians, which is an accusation Israel refused Such as defamation and hypocrisy. South Africa asked the court to order Israel to stop its violent air and ground offensive in an interim step.

“No one will stop us, not The Hague, not the axis of evil, not anyone else,” Netanyahu said in televised statements on Saturday evening, referring to Iran and the militias allied with it.

The case before the World Court is expected to drag on for years, but a ruling on interim steps could be issued within weeks. Court rulings are binding but difficult to implement. Netanyahu explained that Israel would ignore orders to stop fighting, which could deepen its isolation.

Israel is under increasing international pressure to end the war that has claimed the lives of more than 23,000 Palestinians in Gaza and Israel. It led to widespread suffering In the besieged enclave, but so far protected US diplomatic and military support.

Thousands They took to the streets Washington, London, Paris, Rome, Milan and Dublin called on Saturday to demand an end to the war. The demonstrators gathered at the White House held high signs questioning the viability of President Joe Biden as a presidential candidate due to his strong support for Israel during the war.

Israel says ending the war would mean a victory for Hamas, the Islamist militant group that has ruled Gaza since 2007 and is determined to destroy Israel.

The war was broken out by A The deadly October 7 attack Hamas and other militants killed about 1,200 people in Israel, most of them civilians. There were about 250 others hostageWhile some have been released or confirmed dead, more than half are believed to remain in captivity. Sunday signs 100 days of fighting.

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Fears of a wider conflagration were clear from the beginning of the war. New fronts quickly opened with Iranian-backed groups – Houthi rebels in Yemen, Hizb allah In Lebanon and Iran-backed militias In Iraq and Syria – and carrying out a number of attacks. From the beginning, the United States increased its military presence in the region to deter escalation.

After the Houthi campaign with drones and missiles Attacks The United States and Britain launched multiple air strikes on commercial ships in the Red Sea on Friday against the rebels, and the United States struck another location on Saturday.

In further repercussions of the war, this week the International Court heard arguments regarding South Africa’s complaint against Israel. South Africa cited the high death toll and hardships faced by civilians in Gaza, along with inflammatory comments made by Israeli leaders, as evidence of what it called genocidal intent.

In counterarguments on Friday, Israel asked for the case to be dismissed as baseless. The Israeli defense claimed that the country had the right to fight against a ruthless enemy, that South Africa barely mentioned Hamas, and that it ignored what Israel saw as attempts to mitigate harm to civilians.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu and his army chief Herzl Halevy said they had no immediate plans to allow the return of displaced Palestinians to northern Gaza, the initial focus of the Israeli offensive. Fighting has been reduced in the northern half, with forces now focusing on the southern city of Khan Yunis, although fighting continues in parts of the north.

Netanyahu said that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken raised this issue during his visit earlier this week. The Israeli leader said he told Blinken “that we will not return residents (to their homes) when there is fighting.”

Meanwhile, Netanyahu said Israel would eventually need to close what he said were loopholes along Gaza's border with Egypt. Over the years of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade, smuggling tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border formed a major supply line to Gaza.

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However, the border area, specifically the city of Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip, is the same Crowded with hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who fled northern Gaza, and their presence will complicate any plans to expand the Israeli ground offensive.

“We will not end the war until we close this loophole,” Netanyahu said on Saturday, adding that the government had not yet decided how to do so.

In Gaza, where Hamas offered strong resistance to Israel's violent air and ground campaign, the war continued unabated.

the Ministry of Health in Gaza The Israeli army announced on Saturday that 135 Palestinians were killed during the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths in the war to 23,843. The number does not differentiate between combatants and civilians, but the ministry said that about two-thirds of those killed were women and children. The ministry said that the total number of war-wounded exceeded 60,000.

Following a pre-dawn Israeli airstrike on Saturday, a video provided by Gaza's Civil Defense Department showed rescue workers searching through the rubble of a building in Gaza City with a flashlight.

The footage showed them carrying a young girl wrapped in blankets with injuries to her face, and at least two other children who appeared to be dead. A boy covered in dust winced as he was loaded into an ambulance.

The attack on the house located in the Daraj neighborhood led to the killing of at least 20 people, according to Civil Defense spokesman Mahmoud Bassal.

Another attack late Friday near the southern city of Rafah on the Egyptian border killed at least 13 people, including two children. The bodies of the dead, most of whom were from a family displaced from central Gaza, were transported to Abu Youssef al-Najjar Hospital in the city, where they were seen by an Associated Press correspondent.

The Palestinian telecommunications company Jawwal announced that two of its employees were killed on Saturday while trying to repair the network in Khan Yunis. The company said that the two were injured in the bombing. Jawwal said that it had lost 13 employees since the beginning of the war.

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Israel has claimed that Hamas is responsible for the large number of civilian casualties, saying its fighters are using civilian buildings and launching attacks from densely populated urban areas.

On Saturday, the Israeli army published a video clip that it said showed the destruction of two complexes ready to launch rockets in the city of Muharraq in the central Gaza Strip. A large grove of palm trees and some houses are visible in the frame. The video shows a missile being launched into the air as a result of the explosion. The army said there were dozens of launchers ready for use.

Since the start of the Israeli ground operation in late October, 187 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,099 others wounded in Gaza, according to the army.

They constitute more than 85% of Gaza's population of 2.3 million He was displaced As a result of the Israeli air and ground attack, vast areas of land were destroyed It was settled.

Less than half of the region 36 hospitals It remains partially operational, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the UN humanitarian agency.

With already severe shortages of food, clean water and fuel in Gaza, OCHA said in its daily report that Israel's severe restrictions on and outright rejection of humanitarian missions have increased since the beginning of the year.

The agency said that only 21% of scheduled shipments of food, medicine, water and other supplies successfully reached northern Gaza.

American and other international efforts have prompted Israel to make greater efforts to alleviate the suffering of Palestinian civilians It met with little success.

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Magdy reported from Cairo. Marwa reported from Beirut.

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

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