Israel has officially recommenced its military operations in Gaza following the expiration of a week-long truce with Hamas. The Israeli military announced on Friday that it had resumed fighting, involving airstrikes and artillery fire in Gaza City. The truce ended without an agreement to extend it, with the Israeli military asserting that Hamas had violated the operational pause by firing towards Israeli territory.
Israeli military stated that “The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) has resumed combat against the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip”.
The decision to resume hostilities came shortly after the military intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza, marking the first such incident since the initial day of the truce. Reports from Gaza City indicated that Israeli warplanes conducted a series of strikes, accompanied by artillery fire. Drones were also observed in the southern part of the territory for the first time since the truce.
This resumption of fighting has shattered hopes for an extension of the seven-day truce, during which dozens of hostages were released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners by Israel. The truce also facilitated the entry of more aid into the beleaguered Gaza Strip.
The conflict initially erupted on October 7 when Hamas breached Gaza’s militarized border into Israel, resulting in 1,200 casualties, predominantly civilians, and the abduction of around 240 people, according to Israeli authorities. In response, Israel pledged to eliminate Hamas, unleashing an air and ground military campaign in Gaza. The Hamas government reported over 15,000 casualties, mostly civilians.
During the truce brokered by Qatar, 80 number of Israeli hostages were freed in return of 240 Palestinian prisoners. Additional hostages, including foreign nationals, were released outside the agreement’s scope. Despite hopes for an extension, the resumption of hostilities occurred, disappointing those who had sought to continue the positive developments of the truce.
International pressure has mounted on Israel to ensure the safety of civilians in the blockaded Gaza Strip, with calls for the provision of medical supplies, food, and fuel. The United States, through top diplomat Antony Blinken, advocated for an extension of the pause in hostilities and emphasized the need for Israel to implement humanitarian civilian protection plans to minimize casualties.
As the situation escalates, concerns persist about the well-being of those in the affected regions, with hopes for a return to a peaceful resolution.