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1 Dec, 2023 05:23

Israel resumes Gaza war

The resumption comes after a ceasefire facilitated the release of dozens of detainees on both sides
Israel resumes Gaza war

Israel has resumed its attacks on Hamas after a lull lasting several days, accusing the Palestinian armed group of violating the ceasefire. West Jerusalem has repeatedly said that it would resume the hostilities after the truce is over.

In a statement in the early hours of Friday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed that “Hamas violated the operational pause, and in addition, fired toward Israeli territory.” 

“The IDF has resumed combat against the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip,” it added. The military also announced that it was conducting air raids on Hamas targets in Gaza.

The Office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Hamas violated the framework of the agreement as it “did not meet its obligation to release all hostage women.”

“Amid the return to combat, we stress the government of Israel is committed to achieving the goals of the war – releasing our hostages, eliminating Hamas and ensuring that Gaza can never again threaten the people of Israel,” it stated.

Meanwhile, Hamas was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying that Israel “bears responsibility for the resumption of war and aggression against the Gaza Strip,” as it had refused to accept the group’s offer to release additional detainees.

Senior Hamas official Izzat al-Risheq stated that Israel will achieve nothing “by continuing its aggression after the truce.”

Earlier in the day, Israel said it had intercepted a launch from the Palestinian enclave, later adding that “a number of launches were identified from the Gaza Strip toward Israeli territory,” and that they “were not intercepted according to protocol.”

The al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, later said it had attacked Israeli cities in response to “the crimes of the Zionist enemy.”

Both sides had accused each other on numerous occasions of violations in northern Gaza, which became the primary target of Israel’s ground offensive that began in late October. 

The two sides agreed to a four-day Qatari-brokered ceasefire that took effect on November 24. The key part of the agreement was Israel’s pledge to release 150 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for 50 of the approximately 240 hostages taken by Hamas since the crisis began on October 7. Israel also said it would extend the ceasefire by one day for every ten prisoners released by Hamas.

The truce has been extended several times, with Hamas releasing more than 100 hostages, including many foreigners, while Israel has freed around 240 Palestinians.

The latest exchange took place late Thursday, when eight Israeli hostages were handed over by the group to the Red Cross in Gaza and then evacuated to Israel. The latter released 30 Palestinians.