KHAN YOUNIS (Gaza Strip) – Israel’s war with Hamas broke out again on Friday, with air strikes hitting homes and buildings in the Gaza Strip minutes after an aerial bombardment. A truce for a week Expired. Health authorities in the besieged Strip reported that dozens of Palestinians had been killed, and Israel dropped leaflets on Gaza City and the southern parts of the Strip, urging civilians to flee to avoid the fighting.
Militants in Gaza resumed firing rockets into Israel, and fighting broke out between Israel and Hezbollah militants operating along its northern border with Lebanon.
The resumption of war threatens to exacerbate the suffering in Gaza. About two million people – almost the entire population of the Strip – live in the south of the Strip, where Israel urged people to move elsewhere at the beginning of the war and has since pledged to expand its ground offensive. Unable to go to northern Gaza or neighboring Egypt, their only recourse is to move within an area of 85 square miles (220 square kilometers).
What do you know about the war between Israel and Hamas:
- Fighting resumed shortly after the week-long truce collapsed. Brokers in Qatar They are trying to resume the ceasefire.
- Deadly air strikes hit the Gaza Strip and rockets flew towards Israel, with both sides blaming the other. Collapse of talks.
- The New York Times reported this Israel was aware of this From Hamas’ plan a year before the October 7 attack that started the war.
Hostilities were also renewed Increased fears To release about 140 hostages still being held by Hamas and other militants, after the release of more than 100 of them. During the truce. For the families of the remaining hostages, the collapse of the truce was a blow to hopes that their loved ones would be able to get out days after others were released. Israel announced on Friday that its forces found the bodies of four more hostages in Gaza, bringing the total deaths to seven.
Qatar which He acted as a mediator Egypt said that negotiators are still trying to reach an agreement to restore the ceasefire. Israel and Hamas blamed each other for ending the truce.
A day before that, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken He urged Israeli officials to make more efforts to protect Palestinian civilians In their quest to destroy Hamas. On Friday, Blinken met with Arab foreign ministers at global climate talks in Dubai.
It was not clear to what extent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would respond to the calls of the United States, Israel’s most important ally.
Netanyahu’s office said Friday that Israel is “committed to achieving the war’s goals,” including releasing hostages and eliminating Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007.
In response to the American calls, the Israeli army published a map on the Internet dividing the Gaza Strip into hundreds of randomly numbered and drawn pieces. It asked residents to know their location number in case they eventually evacuate. The map did not specify the safe areas to which the evacuation would take place, and it was not clear how easily Palestinians could reach them.
Hamas released eight additional Israeli hostages, and Israel released another group of 30 Palestinian prisoners under a last-minute agreement to extend the ceasefire for another day in Gaza. (December 1)
Hours after the renewed bombing, the Gaza Ministry of Health said that 178 people were killed and dozens were injured. Israel said it struck more than 200 Hamas targets.
Until the truce begins More than 13,300 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli attack, nearly two-thirds of whom were women and minors, according to the Gaza report Ministry of HealthWhich does not differentiate between civilians and combatants.
The death toll is likely much higher, as officials have updated the tally intermittently since November 11. The ministry says there are fears that thousands more will die under the rubble.
The war began After the October 7 attack By Hamas and other militants, Which killed about 1,200 people, most of them civilians, in southern Israel About 240 people were captured. The New York Times reported that the Israeli army was aware of this agitation A plan to attack Israeli territory more than a year before the devastating operation.
Back to battle
About an hour before the ceasefire expired early Friday, Israel said it intercepted a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza. Minutes after the deadline expired, the army announced the resumption of combat operations, and the strikes quickly began.
In leaflets dropped on southern Gaza, Israel urged people to leave their homes east of Khan Yunis, warning that the southern town was now a “dangerous combat zone.” Other leaflets warned residents of a number of neighborhoods in Gaza City in the north of the need to move south.
Hundreds of thousands of people He fled northern Gaza to Khan Yunis and other parts of the south earlier in the war, as part of an extraordinary mass exodus that displaced three-quarters of the population and faced widespread shortages of food, water and other supplies.
The Palestinian authorities at the Rafah crossing said that no trucks carrying aid entered Gaza from Egypt on Friday after the flow of supplies increased during the truce.
The International Rescue Committee, a relief organization working in Gaza, warned that a return to fighting “would eliminate even the minimal relief” provided by the truce and “would be disastrous for Palestinian civilians.”
In Washington, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that Israel prevented trucks from crossing into Gaza on Friday, but would allow some aid to enter at the request of the US government. Kirby said the United States will continue to press for increased aid to Gaza at least up to the level of goods that entered during the truce period.
In Khan Yunis, residents are frantically searching for survivors among the rubble of a building that was hit by a raid. “We are women and children here. We have nothing,” said Fatima Nashasi, a relative of a family living in the building, as women cried nearby. “We were going about our lives as usual, hoping to extend the truce.”
Raids also occurred near Gaza City and in the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, where rescuers are stationed. Claws through the rubble From a large building. Feet stuck from tangle of concrete and wire.
Israel says it targets Hamas activists and blames civilian casualties on militants, accusing them of operating in residential neighborhoods. Israel says that 77 of its soldiers were killed in the ground attack on the northern Gaza Strip. It claims to have killed thousands of militants, without providing evidence.
Hamas said it fired a barrage of rockets from Gaza towards Israeli cities. Columns of white smoke were seen above the Israeli city of Sderot on the border with northern Gaza after the activation of Israeli missile protection systems.
In Lebanon, Hezbollah said on Friday that its fighters opened fire on a group of Israeli soldiers along the border, in its first attack since the truce came into force.
Israel said that a number of missiles from Lebanon targeted military sites near the border, while some were directed towards the town of Kiryat Shmona but were intercepted. The army responded with artillery. Security officials said that a Hezbollah fighter and his mother were killed when their house was bombed.
The families of the hostages are saddened by the end of the truce
The end of the truce had a severe impact on the families of the remaining hostages.
Merav Svirsky told Israeli Channel 12 that the released hostage conveyed to her a message from her 38-year-old brother Itai, who is still being held hostage, confirming that he is alive. She added: “His body is healthy, but his mental state is not good.” Merav and Itay’s parents were killed on October 7.
“They did not talk about releasing the men, and they returned to fighting without exhausting their capabilities,” Merav said, adding that she believes “the state is responsible” for her brother’s fate. “In my view, every day there is fighting in Gaza puts it at risk.”
Netanyahu is under The pressure is intense From the families of the hostages to return them to their homeland. But his far-right ruling partners also pushed him to continue the war until Hamas was destroyed.
Netanyahu said that Hamas had violated the terms of the truce. He said in a statement: “It did not fulfill its commitment to release all hostages today and fired missiles at Israeli citizens.”
Hamas blamed Israel, saying it had rejected all offers made by Hamas to release more hostages and the bodies of the dead. Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official, told the Associated Press in Beirut that Hamas rejected an Israeli list of 10 hostages for release because they were female soldiers who had been detained in military sites.
Hamas was expected to set a higher price for the release of Israeli soldiers and male hostages, and negotiations for an extension became more difficult with a small number of women and children remaining hostage in Gaza.
During the truce, which began on November 24, Hamas and other militants in Gaza released more than 100 hostages – 81 hostages. Israelis And 24 other nationalities, most of them Thai. Israel was liberated 240 Palestinians From its prisons. Almost all of them on both sides were women and children.
Jeffrey reported from Cairo and Frankel from Jerusalem. Associated Press writers Wafaa Al-Shurafa in Deir Al-Balah in the Gaza Strip; Lee Keith in Cairo; Matthew Lee in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed.
Complete AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.
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