Israel resumed military operations against Hamas in Gaza on Friday, officially ending the seven-day ceasefire. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) accused Hamas of violating the truce by firing towards Israeli territory. In a statement on X, the IDF declared, "Hamas violated the operational pause, and in addition, fired toward Israeli territory. The IDF has resumed combat against the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza."
The truce, extended for the seventh day on Thursday, was initially part of a four-day agreement that began on November 24 and was further extended for two days on Tuesday. Reports indicate that since the commencement of the ceasefire, 240 Palestinians, 86 Israelis, and 24 foreign nationals have been released.
Prior to the expiration of the seven-day truce, Israel reported shooting down a rocket fired from Gaza. Media outlets affiliated with Hamas reported explosions and gunfire in northern Gaza. Air strikes targeted the southern Gaza Strip, as confirmed by the Hamas-run interior and national security ministry.
Negotiations led by Egyptian and Qatari mediators sought to extend the ceasefire for an additional two days to facilitate the release of more hostages and prisoners and allow more aid into the strip. Israel insisted that Hamas release 10 Israeli women and children held hostage per day for any extension.
Under the truce terms, Israel freed three Palestinians for every Israeli hostage released. Both Israel and Hamas had signaled readiness for a resumption of hostilities. Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant stated, “We should be prepared for a quick transition into full-scale fighting at any point, today, tomorrow, at any moment. As soon as we maximize the move to return hostages, we will resume fierce fighting across the whole Gaza Strip.” Hamas’ military wing also directed its forces to maintain a high-combat readiness posture.
(With Agency Inputs)