Jerusalem, Feb 12 (AP) The Israeli military rescued two hostages from the Gaza Strip early Monday in a dramatic operation that also killed at least 67 Palestinians in airstrikes, according to Palestinian hospital officials.

The raid took place in Rafah, the city on the southern edge of the Gaza Strip where 1.4 million Palestinians have fled to escape fighting elsewhere in the Israel-Hamas war. Women and children were among those killed in the airstrikes, Palestinian officials said.

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The Palestinian death toll from the war has surpassed 28,000 people, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza. A quarter of Gaza's residents are starving.

The war began with Hamas' assault into Israel on Oct 7, in which militants killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted around 250. Israel says about 100 hostages remain in Hamas captivity, while Hamas is holding the remains of roughly 30 others who were either killed on Oct 7 or died in captivity. Three hostages were mistakenly killed by the army after escaping their captors in December.

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— The Israeli military says it has rescued 2 hostages from captivity in the Gaza Strip

— Egypt is threatening to void its decades-old peace treaty with Israel.

— Biden welcomes King of Jordan as framework for hostage deal is decided in Israel-Hamas conflict

— Israel's West Bank settler population grew nearly 3%. Supporters say Gaza war could give new push

Here's the latest:


BRUSSELS — The European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, is calling on the United States among other countries to stop providing weapons to Israel instead of simply demanding that the two sides in the war in Gaza stop killing civilians.

“If you believe that too many people are being killed, maybe you should provide less arms in order to prevent so many people being killed,” Borrell told reporters in Brussels after talks with the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

The war in Gaza has killed more than 28,000 Palestinians in the territory, displaced over 80% of the population and set off a massive humanitarian crisis.

Borrell said that it's not good enough for countries to just send their delegations to Tel Aviv and beg Israel not to kill so many civilians, saying: “How many is too many? Which is the standard? (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu doesn't listen to anyone.”

In an impassioned plea, the EU's top diplomat also expressed concern about the likelihood of an imminent Israeli ground assault on Rafah, near the border with Egypt, where more than half of Gaza's population has fled to escape the fighting.

“They are going to evacuate. Where, to the moon? Where are they going to evacuate these people?” Borrell said.


CAIRO — The Health Ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strop says more than 12,300 Palestinian minors and 8,400 women have been killed so far in Israel's war on Hamas in the battered territory.

Minors made up about 43% of the total number of 28,340 Palestinians killed so far. Women and minors together make up 73% of those killed in the war, according to the ministry's figures.

The ministry provided the breakdown of minors and women on Monday at the request of The Associated Press.

The ministry doesn't differentiate between civilians and combatants. Israel says its forces have killed roughly 10,000 Hamas fighters, without providing evidence. It blames Hamas for the death toll, saying it embeds in civilian areas.

In its report, the Gaza ministry said more than 7,000 people are missing and presumed dead. It said 67,984 people have been wounded in the war. It said that over the past day, the bodies of 164 people have been brought to hospitals around war-torn Gaza.

The report comes as an Israeli hostage mission freed two Israeli captives but struck areas around where they were held, killing dozens of Palestinians.


THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Judges in the Netherlands have ordered the Dutch government to halt the export of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel, citing a clear risk of violations of international law.

A trio of human rights organizations brought a civil suit against the Netherlands in December, arguing that authorities needed to re-evaluate the export license in light of Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip. They argued that delivery of parts for the aircraft makes the Netherlands complicit in possible war crimes being committed by Israel in its war with Hamas.

A lower court sided with the government in January, allowing the government to continue sending US-owned parts stored at a warehouse in the town of Woensdrecht to Israel.

On Monday, judges at The Hague Court of Appeals overturned that and ordered the government to cease exports within seven days. The decision can be appealed. (AP)

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