Our live coverage of Israel's war against Hamas has moved here.
The International Court of Justice said that it will deliver its ruling Friday on whether to enact provisional measures to temporarily suspend Israel's military campaign in Gaza, according to an ICJ news release published Wednesday on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The ICJ is the main legal arm of the United Nations and its ruling will take place at at 1 p.m. local (7 a.m. ET).
The move comes in response to South Africa's filing a legal action against Israel for what they allege are violations by Israel of its obligations under the "Genocide Convention."
South Africa took Israel to the ICJ, on claims that it is committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza and failing to prevent and punish genocide.
The hearings started on January 11. Israel has firmly rejected the accusations, calling them “false” and "grossly distorted."
Israel, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that South Africa “is calling for the destruction of the State of Israel," and that its “claim lacks both a factual and a legal basis.”
South Africa has asked the court to enforce “provisional measures” to protect the rights of Palestinians in Gaza “from imminent and irreparable loss.”
The provisional measures would function as a kind of restraining order to stop the dispute from escalating while the full case progresses through the court, which could take years. And while the court’s rulings are final and binding, in practice it has no way of enforcing them.
A building sheltering hundreds of displaced people in southern Gaza was hit Wednesday amid intensified Israeli military attacks on Khan Younis, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza, killing at least nine people and injuring 75 others.
In a video obtained and verified by CNN showing the UNRWA facility, a building surrounded by tents and temporary shelters is seen ablaze, with plumes of thick smoke.
The White House said it is “gravely concerned” by the strike.
The Israeli military ruled out that an Israeli aerial or artillery strike hit the facility, according to a statement from the Israel Defense Forces. The IDF said a “thorough review of the operations of the forces in the vicinity is underway,”
The Israeli military continues to operate in Khan Younis and the operation there will continue for "several days," the IDF said Wednesday.
Here are other headlines you should know:
- Humanitarian crisis: Huge displacement camps have mushroomed across Gaza, where illnesses such as diarrhea, jaundice and Hepatitis A, are spreading due to overcrowded conditions and limited access to drinkable water or sanitation. Several displaced Gaza residents detailed having no access to medicine or clothes amidst the soaking rain. Dozens of displaced women and children gathered in front of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in central Gaza's Deir al-Balah on Wednesday, raising their hands and chanting for a ceasefire.
- Hospital shutdowns: The International Committee of the Red Cross issued a stark warning Thursday, saying that Gaza faces a complete medical shutdown unless immediate actions are taken to safeguard essential services. Meanwhile, the Israeli military operation in Khan Younis will shut down the largest operating hospital in southern Gaza, the director of affairs for the UN's relief agency for the enclave told CNN.
- Houthi attacks: The US Navy shot down two missiles that the Iran-backed Houthis fired Wednesday at the US-flagged, owned and operated M/V Maersk Detroit container ship, which was operating in the Gulf of Aden at the time, according to two US defense officials and US Central Command. The USS Gravely, which was nearby at the time, shot down two of the missiles, and one landed in the water, the officials said. There were no injuries or damage to the ship, CENTCOM said in a statement. Also, Yemen's Houthi rebels targeted US warships with ballistic missiles in the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandab Strait on Wednesday, a Houthi spokesperson said.
- International input: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Wednesday and “agreed on the importance of avoiding steps that would further threaten the security and stability" of the region, according to Erdogan. It is not clear, though, what that might look like in practice. Additionally, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric confirmed Wednesday that all American and British UN workers have been ordered to depart Yemen within one month. Dujarric called on Houthis to revoke the order, arguing the need for UN staff to help the people of Yemen. And, US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Israeli forces have "taken steps to transition their operations," including moving toward more "targeted" operations.
The Israeli military has ruled out that an Israeli aerial or artillery strike hit a UN facility that was housing hundreds of displaced people in Gaza's Khan Younis, according to a statement from the Israel Defense Forces.
“After an examination of our operational systems, the IDF has currently ruled out that this incident is a result of an aerial or artillery strike by the IDF,” the statement says.
The IDF said a “thorough review of the operations of the forces in the vicinity is underway,” adding that it is "examining the possibility that the strike was a result of Hamas fire.”
Some background: The UN relief agency for the enclave said a building sheltering the displaced people was hit Wednesday in Khan Younis, killing at least nine and injuring 75 others.
“Buildings ablaze and mass casualties. Safe access to and from the center has been denied for two days. People are trapped,” Thomas White, director of affairs for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), said on X, formerly Twitter.
The White House says it is “gravely concerned” by a strike on a United Nations facility in Gaza that the organization’s refugee agency said led to “mass casualties.”
“While we don’t yet have all the details on what happened and will continue to seek further information regarding today’s incidents, the loss of every innocent life is a tragedy,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said. “This conflict has already resulted in the devastating deaths and injuries of tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians, and we mourn every single civilian life that has been lost.”
Watson reemphasized the US' "support for Israel's right to defend itself, consistent with international humanitarian law" and said the US would “continue working to increase life-saving humanitarian assistance into Gaza and to bring home all of the hostages held there.”
Yemen's Houthi rebels targeted US warships with ballistic missiles in the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandab Strait on Wednesday, a Houthi spokesperson said Wednesday.
The Yemeni group "engaged" with US warships that tried to protect two American commercial vessels, spokesperson Yahya Saree said in a statement.
As a result, one of the vessels suffered a “direct hit” and the two American commercial ships were forced to turn back from the area, Saree said.
“Several of our ballistic missiles hit their targets despite the warships’ attempts to intercept them,” Saree said.
The Iran-backed Houthis have said they won’t stop their attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea until the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza ends.
Some context: US defense officials told CNN the Navy shot down two Houthi missiles fired Wednesday at the US-flagged, owned and operated M/V Maersk Detroit container ship.
The USS Gravely, which was nearby at the time, shot down two of the missiles, and one landed in the water, the officials said. There were no injuries or damage to the ship, CENTCOM said in a statement.
Dozens of displaced women and children gathered in front of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in central Gaza's Deir al-Balah on Wednesday, raising their hands and chanting for a ceasefire.
Draped in scarves and winter coats, demonstrators carried posters aimed at both Israel and Hamas, with messages that read, “Stop the war” and “Release prisoners now,” referring to the Israeli hostages taken during Hamas' murderous rampage in Israel on October 7.
Israel has fiercely responded to that attack by besieging and bombing Gaza, devastating large parts of the enclave and displacing at least 1.93 million people, according to the United Nation’s agency for Palestine refugees.
"We were forced to leave our homes. The airstrikes were on our heads, our relatives are under the rubble, they were killed in front of our eyes, so we fled,” one woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told CNN. "I am dying. I don't want flour, I don't want coupons, I want to go back home."
Huge displacement camps have mushroomed across Gaza, where illnesses such as diarrhea, jaundice and Hepatitis A, are spreading due to overcrowded conditions and limited access to drinkable water or sanitation.
"We cannot feed our children or buy wood. We demand a ceasefire and to go back to our homes, even if they are struck. We will rebuild them,” said Ismail Hassouna, another civilian.
"We are against transferring and killing policies, killing children and starving people, stealing aid, keeping people inside tents without the minimum essentials for living,” Hassouna added. “We have the right to live, our children have the right to live."
With winter winds and torrential rains lashing Gaza, Nuha Shaheen told CNN that children “are dying of cold.”
“What's left? Enough, we want to go back home."
The International Committee of the Red Cross issued a stark warning Thursday, saying that Gaza faces a complete medical shutdown unless immediate actions are taken to safeguard essential services.
ICRC said that the Nasser medical complex and the European Gaza Hospital, both in southern Gaza's Khan Younis, are the only referral hospitals “that provide advanced surgical and medical emergency services with large bed capacities, which is not sufficient for the current wounded and sick across Gaza.”
Over 1.5 million people living in dire conditions in the south of Gaza, according to the ICRC.
“Every functioning hospital in the Gaza Strip is over-crowded and short on medical supplies, fuel, food and water. Many are housing thousands of displaced families. And now two more facilities risk being lost due to the fighting,” said William Schomburg, the head of the ICRC’s office in Gaza. “The cumulative impact on the health system is devastating and urgent action must be taken.”
The Israel Defense Forces have insisted that Hamas systematically operates in Gaza hospitals and adjacent areas, "using the residents as human shields." The IDF said Wednesday that it will continue to operate in Khan Younis for "several days."
Audio and video shows panic inside a UN shelter in Khan Younis that was hit Wednesday by Israeli tanks, according to the United Nations' relief agency in Gaza.
In a clip obtained by CNN, a woman sheltering at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) facility said: We can’t count the martyrs, we can’t count the injured." She said there are no Red Cross ambulances or firefighters.
In a video obtained and verified by CNN showing the UNRWA facility, a building surrounded by tents and temporary shelters is seen ablaze, with plumes of thick smoke. In another video obtained and verified by CNN, people are seen inside the facility, carrying the injured and moving in and out of crowded rooms.
“The casualties are scattered on the floor, and the building is a besieged from all directions,” according to a man behind the camera.
UNRWA earlier said at least nine people were killed and 75 injured after the shelter was struck. The US State Department has called the strike "incredibly concerning."
CNN's Michael Conte contributed reporting to this post.