Israel on Monday said the "intensive" phase of its war on Hamas in devastated southern Gaza would end "soon" as the U.N. chief pleaded for an "immediate humanitarian cease-fire."

Hamas announced the death of two of the Israeli captives it abducted during its October attack that triggered the war, in a video Israel condemned as a "brutal use of innocent hostages."

Fighting has ravaged the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, when Hamas militants carried out an unprecedented attack on Israel that resulted in about 1,140 deaths, mostly civilians, according to a tally based on official Israeli figures.