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    The Latest | Over 30 dead in Israeli strikes overnight in Gaza, including on a school-turned-shelter


    An Israeli strike on Gaza overnight killed over 30 people when it hit a school-turned-shelter run by the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees. Israel claimed Thursday the school was being used as a Hamas compound, without providing evidence.

    Hospital records and an Associated Press reporter at the hospital recorded at least 33 dead from the strike, including 14 children and nine women. Another strike on a house overnight killed six people. Both strikes occurred in Nuseirat, one of several built-up refugee camps in Gaza. Israel’s military later said it was not aware of any civilian casualties in the strike on the school.

    International pressure has been mounting to limit civilian bloodshed in the Israel-Hamas war. Spain’s foreign minister announced Thursday that the country would ask a United Nations court for permission to join South Africa’s case accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza. United States President Joe Biden’s administration has launched an intense drive to persuade Hamas and Israel to accept a new cease-fire and hostage release proposal, which has raised hopes of ending the war.

    Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza has killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, according to the Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians.

    The eight-month war in Gaza has largely cut off the flow of food, medicine and other supplies to Palestinians who are facing widespread hunger. United Nations agencies say over 1 million in Gaza could experience the highest level of starvation by mid-July.

    Israel launched the war after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, in which militants stormed into southern Israel, killed some 1,200 people — mostly civilians — and abducted about 250. Around 80 hostages captured on Oct. 7 are believed to still be alive in Gaza, alongside the remains of 43 others.

    Currently:

    Israeli strike kills at least 33 people at a Gaza school the military claims was being used by Hamas.

    — Spain applies to join South Africa’s case at top the U.N. court accusing Israel of genocide.

    — A social media effort to draw attention to Rafah surges.

    — Israeli settlers in the West Bank were hit with international sanctions. It only emboldened them.

    — Yemen’s Houthi rebels unveil solid-fuel ‘Palestine’ missile that resembles Iranian hypersonic.

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

    Here’s the latest:

    JERUSALEM — Israel’s representative on the panel of judges hearing the genocide case against Israel at the world’s top court resigned from his post, citing personal reasons, according to a letter he sent to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seen by The Associated Press on Thursday.

    Justice Aharon Barak, a former attorney general and peace negotiator who served as chief justice of Israel’s highest court from 1995 to 2006, wrote Tuesday to Netanyahu, telling him that he had sent the president of the International Court of Justice a resignation letter.

    “My resignation is for personal and family reasons,” he wrote to Netanyahu. “Thank you for the trust placed in me.”

    Barak was one of four justices on the court who said the ICJ’s ruling that Israel cease operations in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city, did not mean Israel needed to stop operations there entirely. He said Israel could still operate in Gaza but needed to avoid causing undue harm to Palestinian civilians and contravening Israel’s obligations under the Genocide Convention.

    Israeli President Isaac Herzog, whose position is largely ceremonial, thanked Barak on Thursday for serving on the court in a statement posted to X, adding: “We will continue to stand firm against the evil, the hypocrisy and the false accusations leveled against the State of Israel and the IDF,” using an acronym for Israel’s military.

    JERUSALEM — Israel’s military said Thursday that a drone strike on a village in northern Israel the day before killed an Israeli reserve soldier.

    The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah said it launched an attack toward a gathering of military officials in response to an earlier Israeli cross-border attack.

    Israel’s military said two explosive drones were fired toward Hurfeish, a northern village in Israel.

    Air raid sirens did not go off ahead of the strike, and Israeli authorities said that the strike wounded over 10 people in addition to the one soldier killed. The military identified the fallen soldier as Staff Sgt. (res.) Refael Kauders, 39.

    With Kaunders’ death, 16 soldiers have been killed in Israel’s north since October, along with 10 civilians.

    More 400 people have been killed in Lebanon, including more than 70 civilians and noncombatants.

    Israel and Hezbollah have been exchanging fire daily since a day after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, which set off the war in Gaza. The deadly fighting has displaced tens of thousands of people on both sides of the Israel-Lebanon border and sparked fears of a wider regional war.

    JERUSALEM — Israel’s military said Thursday it was not aware of any civilian casualties in a strike that killed at least 33 Palestinians, including 23 women and children, according to local officials and an AP reporter at the hospital that received the bodies.

    The strike occurred early Thursday on a United Nations school sheltering displaced Palestinians in central Gaza. Israeli military spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said intelligence indicated that militants had used the school compound to orchestrate some of the attacks on Oct. 7 and that at least 20 militants there were using it currently as a “staging realm” to launch attacks on Israeli soldiers.

    “I’m not aware of civilians being caught up in this. We will be looking at the data and intelligence that comes out in the next few hours or day,” Lerner told journalists.

    He declined to say whether the military would investigate the strike, as it did in May when an Israeli strike nearby a tent camp sheltering displaced people killed dozens in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city.

    MADRID — Spain will ask a United Nations court for permission to join South Africa’s case accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza, its foreign minister announced Thursday.

    Spain is the first European country to take the step after South Africa filed its case with the International Court of Justice in late 2023. It alleged that Israel was breaching the genocide convention in its military assault that has laid waste to large swaths of Gaza.

    Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Libya and the Palestinians have already requested to join the case currently being heard at the court in The Hague, Netherlands.

    The court has ordered Israel to immediately halt its military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah but stopped short of ordering a cease-fire for the enclave. Israel has not complied.

    Spain’s request to join the case is the latest move by the government of Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to support peacemaking efforts in Gaza.

    Israel denies it is committing genocide in its military operation to crush Hamas triggered by its deadly Oct. 7 attacks in southern Israel.

    Hamas killed 1,200 people and took 250 more hostage in the surprise attacks. Israel’s air and land attacks have killed 36,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which doesn’t distinguish between combatants and civilians.

    DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — An Israeli strike early Thursday on a school-turned-shelter in central Gaza that the military claimed was being used as a Hamas compound killed at least 30 people, including five children, according to local health officials.

    The strike came after the military said it was launching new air and ground operations in central Gaza in an apparent widening of its nearly eight-month offensive, launched after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. An international medical charity had reported soaring casualties even before Thursday’s strike.

    The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah received at least 30 bodies from the strike on the school run by the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees — known by the acronym UNRWA — and another six from a separate strike on a home, according to hospital records and an Associated Press reporter at the hospital. Hamas-run TV had earlier reported a higher toll.

    The Israeli military claimed, without immediately offering evidence, that Hamas and the Islamic Jihad used the school as cover for their operations and that risk reduction steps were taken before the strike.

    The war began with Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack inside Israel that killed at least 1,200 people with 250 others taken hostage. The Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip has killed at least 36,000 Palestinians, with hundreds of others killed in operations in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Yemen’s Houthi rebels have unveiled a new, solid-fuel missile in their arsenal that resembles aspects of one earlier displayed by Iran that Tehran described as flying at hypersonic speeds.

    The rebels fired their new “Palestine” missile, complete with a warhead painted like a Palestinian keffiyeh checkered scarf, at the southern Gulf of Aqaba port of Eilat in Israel on Monday. The attack set off air raid sirens but caused no reported damage or injuries.

    Footage released by the Houthis late Wednesday showed the Palestine being raised on what appeared to be a mobile launcher and rising quickly into the air with plumes of white smoke coming from its engine. White smoke is common with solid-fuel missiles.

    Solid-fuel missiles can be set up and fired faster than those containing liquid fuel. That’s a key concern for the Houthis as their missile launch sites have been repeatedly targeted by U.S. and allied forces in recent months over the rebels’ attacks on shipping through the Red Sea corridor. One such strike hit the Houthis even before they were able to launch their missile.



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