Truce collapses: Israeli fighter jets hit targets in Gaza, destiny of remaining hostages doubtful
The fragile truce between Israel and Hamas collapsed Friday morning and a brand new spherical of hostilities erupted in and across the Gaza Strip, elevating main questions concerning the destiny of the remaining hostages held by Hamas and stoking fears about additional civilian struggling within the densely packed Palestinian enclave.
Hours after the weeklong cease-fire expired, Israeli fighter jets hit targets in Gaza whereas plane additionally dropped leaflets urging Palestinian civilians to hunt shelter outdoors of a quickly widening warfare zone.
Israeli officers mentioned that Hamas fighters launched rockets from Gaza into southern Israel, although none reached their targets, in response to media reviews. But the assaults prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to vow that his nation would resume its navy marketing campaign and press ahead with its unique objective.
“Upon the resumption of fighting, we emphasize: The government of Israel is committed to achieving the goals of the war: Releasing the hostages, eliminating Hamas and ensuring that Gaza never again constitutes a threat to the residents of Israel,” Mr. Netanyahu’s workplace mentioned in an announcement Friday morning.
The cease-fire supplied a short-lived reprieve from what’s been a relentless warfare inside Gaza since Hamas launched a terrorist assault on Israel on Oct. 7. That assault noticed greater than 1,200 Israelis killed and about 240 hostages taken from Israel by Hamas militants.
About 100 of these hostages, principally ladies and youngsters, have been launched over the previous week as a part of the truce. In alternate, Israel quickly halted hostilities in Gaza and in addition launched about 240 Palestinian prisoners from its personal jails.
Both sides had expressed openness to extending the cease-fire. Israel has mentioned it will prolong the cease-fire one other day for every 10 hostages launched by Hamas. Mr. Netanyahu’s workplace accused Hamas of backing away from that proposal early Friday, and he positioned blame for the resumption of preventing squarely on the Palestinian militant group.
“What Israel did not achieve during the 50 days before the truce, it will not achieve by continuing its aggression after the truce,” Ezzat El Rashq, a member of the Hamas political bureau, wrote on the group’s web site Friday, in response to English-language media accounts.
Officials in Qatar, the rich Gulf nation that has served as a mediator between Israel and Hamas, mentioned that the resumption of preventing makes it rather more tough to attain one other cease-fire. Qatar’s Foreign Ministry particularly singled out Israel’s position within the resumption of preventing and mentioned it “complicates mediation efforts and exacerbates the humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza.
The restart of preventing in Gaza got here simply hours after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Israel, his fourth journey to the Jewish state for the reason that Oct. 7 terrorist assaults. He urged Israel to do all it could to guard harmless civilians in Gaza.
“Israel has the most sophisticated — one of the most sophisticated militaries in the world. It is capable of neutralizing the threat posed by Hamas while minimizing harm to innocent men, women, and children. And it has an obligation to do so,” Mr. Blinken mentioned throughout a press convention simply earlier than leaving Israel for a world local weather change convention in Dubai. “Ultimately, that’s not just the right thing to do, it’s also in Israel’s security interest. The prime minister and members of the war cabinet agreed with the need for this approach.”
In Gaza, Israeli planes reportedly dropped leaflets urging Palestinian civilians to depart their houses and transfer towards a de facto protected zone close to Rafah, alongside the Gaza-Egypt border. Israel‘s marketing campaign in northern Gaza has pushed a whole bunch of 1000’s of Palestinians towards the southern portion of the strip, however Israel now seems poised to widen its offensive to the south and will goal main inhabitants facilities in that area equivalent to the town of Khan Younis.
“You have to evacuate immediately and go to the shelters in the Rafah area. Khan Younis is a dangerous fighting zone. You have been warned,” the Israeli leaflets mentioned, in response to Reuters, which has journalists on the bottom in and across the metropolis.
Analysts say that as tough and violent as the hassle could also be, Israel should push Hamas out of Khan Younis and different areas in southern Gaza if it hopes to attain its broader goals. They say that Hamas militants use these areas as a key hall to funnel weapons and different items all through the strip.
“Israel cannot achieve its military aims unless it takes Khan Younis,” Michael Doran, senior fellow and director of the Center for Peace and Security within the Middle East on the Hudson Institute, informed The Washington Times this week.