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Fighting Resumes In Gaza As Israel Carries Out Air Strikes After Accusing Hamas Of Ceasefire Violation

Topline

Israeli forces resumed their aerial bombardment of Gaza and heavy fighting was reported in the Palestinian enclave on Friday, signaling the end of a week-long ceasefire between both sides—which Israel accused Hamas of violating first.

Key Facts

Citing Palestinian sources, both the Associated Press and Reuters reported that Israeli airstrikes have been carried out all across Gaza including some areas in the south—where most civilians have taken refuge.

Earlier on Friday, Israeli officials alleged Hamas had violated the terms of the truce—which was scheduled to end in the morning—by firing rockets from Gaza.

The truce which was in place for a week, officially expired at 7 a.m. local time despite effort by mediators to extend it further to allow for the release of more hostages.

According to AP, Hamas released over 100 hostages in total in return for around 240 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons.

A majority of the hostages and prisoners released during the truce were either women or children—although Israeli authorities said Hamas had “not met its obligation to release all of the women hostages,” before fighting resumed.

Crucial Quote

In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said: “Upon the resumption of fighting, we emphasize: The Government of Israel is committed to achieving the goals of the war: Releasing the hostages, eliminating Hamas and ensuring that Gaza never again constitutes a threat to the residents of Israel.”

Key Background

The truce which was initially meant to last four days was extended twice over the past week, triggering hope that all hostages might be released from captivity while much-needed aid enters Gaza. Qatari government officials, who were mediating between both sides, even said their goal was to make the ceasefire permanent. However, as the number of women and children hostages in Gaza shrunk, the truce became more fragile with Netanyahu facing political pressure to resume the offensive. In a speech on Wednesday, the Israeli prime minister said “There is no way we are not going back to fighting until the end.”


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