A plume of smoke

Fighting Between Hamas and Israel Resumes in Gaza

December 1, 2023
2 mins read

Fighting between Hamas and Israel has resumed in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces said Friday.

The resumption, the IDF said, follows Hamas’ violation of a temporary truce and the militant group’s launching of a rocket attack on Israel.

Even as the sounds and smells of war return to Gaza, international mediators are continuing to negotiate to bring an end to the fighting.

The IDF said on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that it had “successfully intercepted” the rocket launch from Gaza.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility from Hamas for the rocket attack.

Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry says at least 32 people died in the first hours of Friday’s attack.

Leaflets dropped by Israel in Khan Younis in southern Gaza are advising people there to travel farther south for their safety.

New York Times report said Israel had advance knowledge that Hamas intended to carry out an attack on Israel, but Israel dismissed the plan as “aspirational.”

Gal Tarshansky, who was released Nov. 29, sits with her father in an IDF helicopter en route from Hatzerim Air Base to Schneider Hospital, in Israel, Nov. 30, 2023.

James Elder, a UNICEF spokesperson, said in a video posted on X, from Gaza’s “biggest, still functioning” hospital that “This hospital simply cannot take more children with the wounds of war.” He said a bomb had fallen “literally 50 meters from here.”

Elder said, “Inaction by those with influence is allowing the killing of children. This is a war on children.”

The return to fighting comes after a seven-day truce that allowed for the exchange of Israeli hostages from the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel for Palestinian prisoners.

On Thursday, Hamas released eight Israeli hostages in Gaza under an extension of a truce, and a short time later Israel released 30 Palestinian prisoners as negotiators tried to again extend the pause in fighting.

Two women were released in the afternoon and six more were released shortly before midnight. It was the seventh group of hostages released under the temporary truce deal between Hamas and Israel.

People watch as the motorcade of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken goes through the West Bank following his meeting with the Palestinian Authority president in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Nov. 30, 2023.

Israel initially required the militant group to release at least 10 hostages daily for the truce to continue, but a Qatari Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson said that no additional hostages would be released Thursday. Qatar helped broker the truce.

The Qatari spokesperson said Israel accepted the eight hostages because Hamas on Wednesday released an extra two hostages, who were Israeli-Russian women.

Hamas had indicated that it could free two more Israeli-Russian citizens, but the militant group ultimately did not do so. Hamas had also previously said it would release the bodies of three Israeli hostages Thursday, but it is unclear whether that occurred.

In turn, Israel released 30 Palestinians from prisons in Israel.

Israeli soldiers are seen near the border with the Gaza Strip, southern Israel, Nov. 30, 2023.

To date, Hamas has released 105 hostages and Israel has released 240 Palestinian prisoners. Hamas has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States, Britain, the European Union and others.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv on Thursday. At the start of the meeting, Blinken told Herzog the United States believed the truce was producing results and should continue.

“We have seen over the last week the very positive development of hostages coming home, being reunited with their families, and that should continue today,” Blinken said. “It’s also enabled a significant increase in humanitarian assistance to go to innocent civilians in Gaza, who need it desperately.”

Blinken is to end his Middle East trip with a Friday visit to the United Arab Emirates, where he is expected to discuss Gaza with Arab world leaders attending the U.N. Climate Conference in Dubai.

Some information for this story came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.

The Washington Inquirer Editor

20 years in media business

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