UN judges in The Hague will rule on Friday whether to order Israel to suspend its military campaign in Gaza as officials push ahead with efforts to negotiate a new deal for a ceasefire and 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 prior 24 hours in Gaza's main southern city Khan Younis, where Israel is currently focusing the brunt of its might.
Reuters could not independently verify the details while Israel said it was looking into the reports.
The judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), also called the World Court, are due to rule on Friday on South Africa's request for emergency measures against Israel in a case accusing it of state-led genocide in the Gaza Strip.
In more than three months of war, Israel's campaign has leveled much of the enclave, displaced some 1.9 million Palestinians and killed at least 25,900 people, according to Gaza officials. Israel launched its offensive in October after Hamas fighters stormed into southern Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking 240 hostages.
The court will issue its ruling at 1 p.m. (1200 GMT) in a hearing expected to last about an hour. While the judges will not rule on the merits of the genocide allegations, which may take years to decide, South Africa asked the court to issue an interim order compelling Israel to suspend its military operations.
Israel has called South Africa's allegations false and "grossly distorted," and said it makes the utmost efforts to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza.
The court's rulings are final and without appeal, but it has no way of enforcing them. Israel on Thursday expressed confidence that the ICJ would "throw out these spurious and specious charges". Hamas said it would abide by an ICJ ceasefire order if Israel reciprocates.