ISTANBUL: Hamas called on the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday to take “immediate” measures to halt Israel’s ongoing offensive in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, reported Anadolu Agency (AA).

In a statement, the Palestinian group urged the council “to fulfil its legal and moral responsibilities towards Israel’s disregard for the decision of the International Court of Justice.”

Last week, the Hague-based court ordered Israel to immediately halt its operation in Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

Hamas warned that the Israeli onslaught in Rafah “risks causing massacres in the small city, which is crowded with displaced people.”

Israeli tanks reached the centre of Rafah on Tuesday amid its ground offensive on the city.

Israel’s current expansion of its incursion into the city makes the Israeli army close to fully control the border area between Gaza and Egypt, known as the Philadelphi Corridor, a demilitarised buffer zone running along the Gaza-Egypt border.

The Israeli army has so far seized control of almost two-thirds of the corridor area as it advances under heavy bombardment and shelling.

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, last year despite a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in the enclave.

Nearly 36,100 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, the vast majority being women and children, and over 81,000 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Nearly eight months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.