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UN court order demanding Israel to halt Gaza offensive further isolates US position

A ruling by the top United Nations court ordering Israel to halt its military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah has deepened its disconnect with the United States over an operation that faces mounting international condemnation but that American officials describe, at least for now, as limited and targeted.

The decision Friday by the International Court of Justice in The Hague adds to the pressure facing an increasingly isolated Israel, coming just days after Norway, Ireland and Spain said they would recognize a Palestinian state, and the chief prosecutor of a separate international court sought arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as leaders of Hamas.

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Hezbollah barrages deal heavy damage in northern Israel

A momentary shriek presages a bone-juddering blast, followed by a plume of thick black smoke. Refrigerator-sized holes mark where Hezbollah anti-tank missiles like this one have hit along Israel's northern border.

Hezbollah has been exchanging near-daily cross-border fire with the Israeli army since Hamas' unprecedented October 7 attack triggered war in Gaza.

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'Afraid to walk the streets': Syria refugees face Lebanon expulsion

For weeks, refugee Maryam Janhat has been living in fear of deportation as Lebanon cracks down on Syrians, with politicians ramping up calls for them to be forced home.

Refugees from Lebanon's war-torn neighbor face a dilemma: should they stay and contend with stricter measures and growing anti-Syrian sentiment, or should they return home and risk poverty and repression?

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Don't expect UN peacekeepers to stop wars, chief says

The world cannot look to U.N. peacekeepers as a way of stopping wars, whether in Gaza or other active conflict zones, the department chief told AFP, citing the famous Blue Helmets' inherent limitations.

A mission in the occupied Palestinian territories, for example, is only "very, very, very hypothetical," Under Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix said.

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ICC's warrant requests for Israel, Hamas leaders ignite debate about court's role

The stunning announcement that the International Criminal Court is considering issuing an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes and crimes against humanity has ignited a fierce debate about the court's future as an independent arbiter.

The request by Prosecutor Karim Khan against the leader of a close U.S. ally also comes as the United Nations' highest court, the International Court of Justice, is investigating whether Israel has committed genocide during its seven-month war against Hamas in Gaza.

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Debunked accounts of Oct. 7 beheaded babies, rape and atrocities

Chaim Otmazgin had tended to dozens of shot, burned or mutilated bodies before he reached the home that would put him at the center of a global clash.

Working in a kibbutz that was ravaged by Hamas' Oct. 7 attack, Otmazgin — a volunteer commander with ZAKA, an Israeli search and rescue organization — saw the body of a teenager, shot dead and separated from her family in a different room. Her pants had been pulled down below her waist. He thought that was evidence of sexual violence.

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Which countries recognize Palestinian state?

Israel's more than seven-month war in Gaza since the October 7 attack has revived a global push for Palestinians to be given a state of their own.

Norway, Spain and Ireland all announced plans on Wednesday to recognize a State of Palestine, breaking with the long-held position of Western powers that a Palestinian state can only come as part of a negotiated peace with Israel.

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ICC's Khan: 'No nonsense' lawyer under fire from all sides

When Karim Khan was sworn in as chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, he said the court should be judged by its acts -- "the proof of the pudding should be in the eating."

And by seeking arrest warrants for Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior Hamas figures, Khan has shown he is not afraid to take on the world's most controversial cases.

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From London to Los Angeles, Iranians overseas cheer, and fear, after president's death

Among Iranian communities from London to Los Angeles, few tears are being shed over the death of President Ebrahim Raisi, killed in a weekend helicopter crash.

But there are not always loud cheers, either.

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Funerals offer displaced Lebanese villagers a chance to go home

For displaced south Lebanese villagers, funerals for those killed in months of cross-border clashes are a rare chance to return home and see the devastation caused by Israeli bombardment.

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