UN judges in The Hague will rule on Friday whether to compel Israel to halt its military operation in Gaza as officials work to reach a new agreement for a cease-fire and the release of more Israeli hostages.
On the ground in the seaside enclave, Gaza officials said on Thursday that Israeli strikes killed 20 Palestinians queuing for food aid in Gaza City, six people in a house in central Gaza's Al-Nusseirat refugee camp, and at least 50 people in the previous 24 hours in Gaza's main southern city, Khan Younis, where Israel is currently focusing the majority of its forces.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the details, while Israel stated that it was either investigating complaints or did not respond promptly to occurrences.
The judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), commonly referred to as the World Court, are set to rule on South Africa's request for emergency sanctions against Israel in a lawsuit accusing it of state-sponsored genocide in the Gaza Strip.
According to Gaza authorities, Israel's campaign has destroyed much of the enclave, displaced around 1.9 million Palestinians, and killed at least 25,900 individuals over the course of more than three months. Israel started its attack in October after Hamas terrorists infiltrated southern Israel, killing 1,200 people and seizing 240 captives.
The court will rule at 1 p.m. (1200 GMT) following a hearing that is likely to take around an hour. While the judges will not rule on the merits of the genocide charges, which may take years to resolve, South Africa has requested the court impose an interim injunction requiring Israel to cease its military activities.
Israel has dismissed South Africa's charges as untrue and "grossly distorted" and stated that it makes every effort to avoid civilian fatalities in Gaza.
The court's decisions are final and without appeal, but it has no mechanism for implementing them. Israel voiced confidence Thursday that the International Court of Justice will "throw out these spurious and specious charges." Hamas has stated that it will comply with an ICJ ceasefire order, provided Israel reciprocates.