The truce maintained by Israel and Hamas was broken this Friday morning and the exchange of fire resumed, after seven days of ceasefire that allowed the release of some hostages captured by the Islamist group in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners. official sources reported. “Hamas violated the operational pause and also fired into Israeli territory. “The Israel Defense Forces have resumed fighting against the terrorist organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip.”The Israeli Army reported in a statement.
Shortly before 6:00 a.m. local time, air raid sirens began to be activated in Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip. “Following the initial report about the sirens at Kibbutz Holit, Several launches were identified from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory. The launches were not intercepted according to protocol,” an Army spokesperson said. “Israel Defense Forces fighter jets are currently attacking Hamas terrorist targets in the Strip,” he added. For its part, the Interior Ministry Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip confirmed that “Israeli aviation flies over the Strip and its vehicles have opened fire in the northwest of the enclave.”
Explosions have been heard a very short distance from the Nasser Hospital, located in the town of Khan Yunis, UNICEF spokesperson James Elder reported today via videoconference from that area. “The bombs started falling a few moments ago, I immediately went to the hospital, where I had been in the last few days, and there was an explosion… a missile or a rocket“I don’t know, I’m not a military specialist, but it was more or less 50 meters away,” said the representative of the United Nations organization, Efe reports.
Hamas, for its part, blames Israel for the breakdown of the truce: “The occupation is responsible for the resumption of the war and the Nazi aggression against the Gaza Strip, after refusing throughout the night to accept all offers to free more hostages,” among them elderly people, Hamas said in a statement.
Israel, ready to annihilate Hamas
The government of Israel has said it is “committed to achieving war goals,” including the total elimination of Hamas, after the breaking of the truce. “The Hamas-Islamic State terrorist organization violated the plan, failed to fulfill its duty to release all the kidnapped women today, and launched rockets against the citizens of Israel,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.
According to Palestinian media, the Israeli attacks cover the north and south of the Palestinian enclave, including residential areas, and have already caused new injuries. Besides, Hamas militants clash with Israeli ground forces on the Salah Al Din road, which served to evacuate displaced people from the north to the south of the Strip.
Thursday was the seventh and final day of a truce negotiated by Qatar, Egypt and the United States, through an agreement that included the release of hostages in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and the entry of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. Total, 105 hostages were released, including 81 Israelis and 24 foreigners, and 240 Palestinian prisoners were released. all of them women and minors.
The truce, which began on November 24, marked a pause in the war that broke out on October 7 after an attack by the armed wing of Hamas that included the launching of thousands of rockets towards Israel and the infiltration of about 3,000 militiamen who massacred about 1,200 people and they kidnapped another 240 in Israeli villages near the Gaza Strip.
Since then, and until the day the truce began, Israel’s forces maintained a relentless offensive by air, land and sea on the Palestinian enclave that has left more than 15,000 dead, thousands more buried under the rubble, and almost two million displaced people who are experiencing a serious humanitarian crisis due to the collapse of hospitals and the shortage of housing, drinking water, food, medicine and electricity.
On Thursday, during an official visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Israeli leaders to refrain from resuming the military offensive in the Gaza Strip unless it establishes a concrete plan to protect Palestinian civilians.
The United States does not want a repetition in the south of the Palestinian enclave of “the massive loss of civilian life and displacement (of people), on the scale that occurred in the north,” Blinken said, explaining that Israel’s plan must include “the precise designation of areas in central and southern Gaza where civilians can be safe and out of the line of fire”, prevent massive internal displacement and damage to essential infrastructure such as hospitals, power generators, electricity providers water.
Qatar was working together with its regional and international partners to reach a permanent ceasefire, in the face of increasing international pressure to do so. EFE