Home / Headline / War rages in Gaza again as talks fail to extend Israel-Hamas truce

War rages in Gaza again as talks fail to extend Israel-Hamas truce

Israeli warplanes resumed pounding Gaza, Palestinian civilians fled for shelter and rocket sirens blared in southern Israel on Friday as war resumed after a week-old truce ran out with no deal to extend it. 

Scores killed in Gaza in 1st day after weeklong truce ends, health authorities say.

A group of people looks at black smoke rising from a hillside in the distance.

Israel’s warplanes pounded Gaza on Friday after talks to extend a week-old truce with Hamas collapsed, sending dozens of wounded and dead Palestinians into hospitals and forcing hundreds to flee in the streets.

About an hour before the ceasefire was to expire early Friday, Israel said it intercepted a volley of rockets fired from Gaza. Minutes after it expired, the military announced a resumption of combat operations and strikes soon began.

Eastern areas of Khan Younis in southern Gaza came under intense bombardment as the deadline lapsed shortly after dawn, with columns of smoke rising into the sky, Reuters journalists in the city said.

Residents took to the road with belongings heaped up in carts, searching for shelter further west.

Bombardment resumes as Israel-Hamas truce comes to an end

Areas in southern Gaza once again came under intense bombardment after the truce agreement between Israel and Hamas ended on Friday. In Khan Younis, rescuers carried people from the remains of a destroyed building. ‘At dinnertime, people sat down to eat [and] a bomb fell on the entire building,’ a man told CBC freelancer Mohamed El Saife. ‘We don’t want aid. We don’t want medicine. We want a ceasefire.’

In the north of the enclave, previously the main war zone, huge plumes of smoke rose above the ruins, seen from across the fence in Israel. The rattle of gunfire and thud of explosions rang out above the sound of barking dogs.

Sirens blared across southern Israel as militants fired rockets from the coastal enclave into towns. Hamas said it had targeted Tel Aviv, but there were no reports of casualties or damage there.

  • What questions do you have about the war between Israel and Hamas? Send an email to ask@cbc.ca.

By the evening, health officials in Hamas-controlled Gaza said Israeli airstrikes had killed 184 people, wounded at least 589 others and hit more than 20 houses.

Israel and Hamas accused each other of wrecking the negotiations and triggering the resumption of violence, though the White House singled out the militant group, saying it had failed to produce a new list of hostages to release to enable an extension of the truce.

Israeli officials have sworn to annihilate Hamas in response to the Oct. 7 rampage by the militant group they say killed 1,200 people and left 240 hostages taken. Hamas, sworn to Israel’s destruction, has ruled Gaza since 2007.

Israel’s assault has laid waste to much of the territory. Palestinian health authorities deemed reliable by the United Nations say more than 15,000 Gazans have been confirmed killed and thousands more are missing and feared buried under rubble.

Blinken says pause in fighting ended ‘because of Hamas’

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, speaking from Dubai, U.A.E., blamed Hamas for the end of the temporary pause in fighting between Israel and the militant group.

Israel’s military said its ground, air and naval forces had struck more than 200 of what it called “terror targets” in the enclave since the morning.

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said he had been in one of Israel’s war jets to watch the assault up close.

“The results are impressive. Hamas only understands force, and therefore we will continue to act until we achieve the goals of the war,” he said.

The United Nations said the fighting would worsen an extreme humanitarian emergency.

“Hell on Earth has returned to Gaza,” said Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN humanitarian office in Geneva.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society said Israeli forces had stopped all deliveries of aid into Gaza again through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

Rockets explode in the sky as Israel intercepts them with an anti-missile system.

COGAT, the Israeli agency for civilian co-ordination with the Palestinians, said aid agreed to under the truce had been stopped but, at Washington’s request, “dozens” of other trucks with water, food and medical supplies had got through to Gaza.

Medics and witnesses said Friday’s bombing was most intense in Khan Younis and Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, where hundreds of thousands of Gazans have been sheltering from fighting further north. Houses in central and northern areas were also hit.

Warning leaflets dropped in Gaza

Residents and officials from Hamas said its fighters armed with rocket-propelled grenades battled Israeli troops and tanks in Gaza City’s Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood in the north.

Gaza health officials said six people died in an Israeli strike on a house in the central city of Deir al-Balah. There was no confirmation of either report from Israel.

Israel and Hamas truce expires, fighting resumes

Minutes after the truce between Israel and Hamas expired, Israel announced it has restarted combat operations against Hamas, with renewed airstrikes in Gaza. In southern Israel, rocket sirens sounded.

Further south in Rafah, residents carried several small children, streaked with blood and covered in dust, out of a house that had been struck. Mohammed Abu-Elneen, whose father owns the house, said it was sheltering people displaced from elsewhere.

At the nearby Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital, the first wave of wounded were men and boys.

A woman with a bandage over her eyes is helped into a hospital.

Gazans said they feared the bombing of southern parts of the enclave could herald an expansion of the war into areas Israel had previously described as safe.

Leaflets dropped on eastern areas of Khan Younis ordered residents of four towns to evacuate — not to other areas in Khan Younis, as in the past, but further south to the crowded town of Rafah on the Egyptian border.

“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,” said the leaflets, written in Arabic.

Israel released a link to a map showing Gaza divided into hundreds of districts, which it said would be used in future to communicate areas that were safe.

Meanwhile, a Lebanese official said Israeli shelling killed three people in south Lebanon on Friday. And the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, said it had carried out several attacks on Israeli military positions at the border in support of Palestinians.

The Israeli army said its artillery struck sources of fire from Lebanon and that air defences had intercepted two launches. Reuters could not confirm any of the battlefield accounts.

Mediators say negotiations continuing

Each of the warring sides blamed the other for causing the collapse of the truce by rejecting terms to extend the daily release of hostages held by militants in exchange for Palestinian detainees.

The pause, which began on Nov. 24, had been extended twice, and Israel had said it could continue as long as Hamas released 10 hostages each day. But after seven days during which women, children and foreign hostages were freed, mediators failed at the final hour to find a formula to release more, including Israeli soldiers and civilian men.

A child sits on a trailer, as Palestinians flee their homes in Khan Younis, in the Gaza Strip, amid Israeli airstrikes.

Israel accused Hamas of refusing to release all of the women it held. A Palestinian official said the breakdown occurred over female Israeli soldiers.

Qatar, which has played a central role in mediation efforts, said negotiations were still ongoing with Israelis and Palestinians to restore the truce but that Israel’s renewed bombardment of Gaza had complicated its efforts.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, ending a trip to the region, said Hamas had started firing rockets before the pause in hostilities expired, carried out a deadly shooting attack in Jerusalem on Thursday and had not followed through on commitments on hostages.

“It came to an end because of Hamas. Hamas reneged on commitments it made,” Blinken said.

With files from The Associated Press

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