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World News

Israel accuses Hamas of violating truce deal – military operations resume | World News


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Israel’s military has resumed combat in Gaza after accusing Hamas of violating the seven-day truce.

A spokesperson for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said: “Hamas violated the operational pause and in addition fired towards Israeli territory.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office added that Hamas did not agree to release all women hostages, infringing on the terms of the truce, and also launched rockets at Israel.

“With the resumption of fighting we emphasise: The Israeli government is committed to achieving the goals of the war – to free our hostages, to eliminate Hamas, and to ensure that Gaza will never pose a threat to the residents of Israel,” it said in a statement.

Around 30 minutes after the ceasefire ended, the Israeli military said its fighter jets were striking Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

Israel-Gaza latest: Follow live

Palestinians run following an Israeli strike, after a temporary truce between Hamas and Israel expired, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip
Palestinians run following an Israeli strike in Khan Younis

An Israeli soldier aims a weapon as they operate in Gaza on 1 December. Pic: Israel Defence Forces
Israeli soldier aims a weapon as they operate in Gaza after a temporary truce. Pic: Israel Defence Forces

Airstrikes hit southern Gaza, including the community of Abassan, east of the town of Khan Younis, the interior ministry in the Hamas-run territory said.

Another strike hit a home northwest of Gaza City.

Images on social media also showed large plumes of dark smoke rising over the densely built-up Jabalia refugee camp.

A Palestinian woman reacts at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, after a temporary truce between Hamas and Israel expired, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, December 1, 2023. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
A Palestinian woman reacts at the site of an Israeli strike in Khan Younis

IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said multiple rockets had been launched from Gaza towards Israel.

The IDF added that sirens sounded in three Israeli communities near Gaza; Kibbutz Holit, Sufa, and Nir Yitzhak.

This new phase of the war will be far more complex to fight

We’re told that mediation continued through the night, but despite the best efforts of Qatar and Egypt, Hamas did not provide Israel with a new list of hostages to be released and so the deal is off.

Fighting resumed in Gaza within minutes of the 7am deadline expiring, and a large cloud of smoke can be seen rising from northern Gaza as I write.

Air raid sirens have been sounding on the Gaza border and Israeli fighter jets are in the air once more.

This is a new phase of the war.

Israel still has unfinished business in the north of the strip, where it can operate with a degree of freedom because its forces occupy the ground, much of the population has left, and more than half of the buildings are badly damaged.

But at some point, the IDF will need to focus on the south of Gaza and in particular the city of Khan Younis, if it is to achieve its objective of eliminating senior Hamas leadership.

That will be a much harder and more complex fight.

Having already forced around a million Gazans from the north to the south, it has become very densely populated and the US has made clear in recent days that it doesn’t want to see another mass displacement of civilians.

A significant amount of humanitarian aid has gone into southern Gaza, along with foreign aid workers – that must be protected. And so Israel will likely receive considerable international opposition if it tries to replicate the widespread bombing campaign we saw in northern Gaza.

No-one is putting a timeline on this phase of the war yet – that will depend on how intense the fighting is.

The ceasefire expired at 7am local time (5am UK time) on Friday – with the IDF saying it was “ready” and willing to continue military operations.

A total of 79 Israeli hostages have been released by Hamas over seven consecutive days, with hundreds of Palestinians freed from prisons in exchange.

About 140 hostages remain in Gaza.

International mediators – including diplomats from Qatar, Egypt and the US – had been working to extend the temporary truce.

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Women with children sit in a trailer, as Palestinians flee their houses due to Israeli strikes, after a temporary truce between Hamas and Israel expired, in the eastern part of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, December 1, 2023. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
Palestinians flee their houses due to Israeli strike

But reaching agreements on hostage releases appeared to be getting harder as most women and children had already been released.

On Thursday, US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, met with Mr Netanyahu and other top officials, where he expressed hope that the ceasefire could be extended.

Mr Blinken said that if Israel resumed the war, it must do so in “compliance with international humanitarian law” and must have “a clear plan in place” to protect civilians.

An Israeli soldier looks on as they operate in Gaza on 1 December, Pic: Israel Defence Forces
Pic: Israel Defence Forces

Israel has said its objective is to annihilate Hamas, which rules Gaza, in response to the rampage by the group on 7 October, when Israel says 1,200 people were killed and 240 were taken hostage.

In Israel’s subsequent bombardment of Gaza, more than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed – around two-thirds of them women and children – according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

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Written by: radioroxi

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