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Israeli warplanes bomb Gaza after top UN court orders halt to invasion

Smoke billows from Israeli strikes on eastern Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. (Photo by AFP)

Israel has bombed the Gaza Strip, including Rafah, despite an order from the UN's top court for it to "immediately halt" its military invasion of the southern city.

Israeli warplanes targeted parts of Rafah and the central city of Deir al-Balah early Saturday, just a day after the Hague-based International Court of Justice ordered Israel to swiftly stop its military aggression against war-hit Rafah.

“We hope that the court’s decision will put pressure on Israel to end this war of extermination because there is nothing left here,” said a Palestinian woman from Gaza City displaced to Deir al-Balah by the war.

The strikes on Saturday, however, proved that Israel gave no indication it was preparing to change course in Rafah. 

"Israel is an entity that considers itself above the law. Therefore, I do not believe that the shooting or the war will stop other than by force," Mohammed Saleh, another Gaza City resident, told AFP. 

Israel unleashed its ground invasion of Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had taken refuge, despite international warnings about a humanitarian catastrophe, forcing more than 900,000 people to flee the city.

In its ruling on Friday, the UN’s top court stated that the occupying regime must “immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah governorate, which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

Earlier this week, The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said 75 percent of the Gaza population has been forcibly displaced by Israel since October.

“For thousands of Palestinian families, there is nowhere left to go: military operations & bombardments pose a continuous threat, buildings have been turned to rubble. Nowhere is safe in Gaza,” the UN’s agency stated.

Israel has killed more than 35,800 people, mostly women and children, and injured over 80,200 others in Gaza since October 7, when it launched a brutal war in the Palestinian coastal sliver after the resistance movement Hamas carried out Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity.

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