The top U.N. court ordered Israel Friday to halt military operations in Rafah, a landmark ruling likely to increase international pressure for a cease-fire more than seven months into the war sparked by Hamas' Oct. 7 attack.

The International Court of Justice also demanded the immediate release of all hostages still held by Palestinian militants, hours after the Israeli military announced troops had recovered the bodies of three more of the captives from northern Gaza.

The Hague-based court, whose orders are legally binding but lack direct enforcement mechanisms, also ordered Israel to keep open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, which it closed earlier this month at the start of its assault on the city.