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Blaming Hamas for breaking cease-fire, Israel resumes combat in Gaza

Israel and Hamas had been under a temporary cease-fire for a week, but resumed fighting after Israel said Hamas fired a rocket toward the country.
Blaming Hamas for breaking cease-fire, Israel resumes combat in Gaza
Posted at 7:04 AM, Dec 01, 2023

Israel said early Friday it has resumed military operations in Gaza, putting an end to its truce agreement with Hamas.

Israel said it struck more than 200 Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Health Ministry, part of the government controlled by Hamas, said at least 178 people have died across the Gaza Strip due to the new strikes.

Following the breakdown of the cease-fire, militants in Gaza resumed rocket attacks against targets in Israel.

Israel Defense Forces claimed the decision to resume was made after Hamas "violated the operational pause" and fired a rocket toward Israeli territory. The rocket was reportedly intercepted.

Israel also said that Hamas violated the terms of the truce by failing to release all of its female hostages.

Israeli fighter jets hit targets in the territory just minutes after the truce ran out. Israel also dropped leaflets over parts of southern Gaza, urging people to leave their homes. This suggests Israel may be preparing to widen its offensive.

Israel and Hamas had been under a temporary cease-fire for a week. The pause in fighting allowed for about 100 hostages to be released from Gaza. Israel believes Hamas is still holding about 125 hostages.

As part of the deal, Israel released more than 200 Palestinians who were being held in Israeli prisons. 

The truce was scheduled to end on Friday, but many were holding out hope that a longer cease-fire deal would be negotiated so that more hostages could be released. 

Qatar, acting as a mediator of cease-fire efforts, said Friday it would continue work to renew the truce.

SEE MORE: Hamas releases 6 more hostages, bringing Thursday total to 8

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken returned to Israel this week. It's the third time he's visited the country since the Oct. 7 attack that claimed about 1,200 lives. 

Prior to the truce expiring, Blinken urged Israeli leaders to limit civilian casualties in Gaza. 

"The way Israel defends itself matters,” he noted. 

More than 13,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel retaliated against Hamas for the initial attack, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry. 

In addition to thousands of deaths, the conflict has also led to a major humanitarian crisis in Gaza. During the pause, humanitarian aid was allowed into Gaza. It's unclear what the resumption of military action in Gaza means for additional aid going into the territory. 

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