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Israel Resumes Military Operations After Truce Expires

Just moments after a brief truce with Hamas expired on Friday, Israel's military declared the beginning of combat operations in the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s military announced the resumption of combat operations in the Gaza Strip just moments after a temporary truce with Hamas expired on Friday. 

The ceasefire, brokered with Qatar and Egypt’s assistance, had commenced on November 24, lasting for four days before multiple extensions.

Complications Arise as Truce Ends:

The truce officially ended at 7 am (9 am, UAE time) on Friday, marking the culmination of a week-long pause in hostilities. 

During this period, Hamas and other Gaza militants released over 100 hostages, predominantly Israelis, in exchange for the freedom of 240 Palestinians from Israeli prisons. 

The majority of those released were women and children, presenting a challenge in negotiating a prolonged agreement due to the scarcity of remaining hostages in Gaza.

Ongoing Mediation Efforts by Qatar and Egypt:

Qatar and Egypt, pivotal mediators in the conflict, endeavored to extend the truce for two more days. 

However, the already fragile situation intensified when Hamas was anticipated to demand a higher ransom for the remaining hostages, particularly Israeli soldiers. 

As of the truce expiration, approximately 140 hostages still languish in Gaza, with over 100 having been freed during the ceasefire.

Missile Intercept Precedes Truce Expiry:

Earlier on the day of the ceasefire’s expiration, the Israeli military reported the interception of a rocket fired from Gaza by its missile defense system. 

This incident occurred approximately one hour before the scheduled end of the truce with Hamas. The rocket launch marked the first such event since the early stages of the seven-day truce.

Heightened Military Activity in Northwestern Gaza:

Eyewitnesses reported increased aircraft and drone activity in northwestern Gaza on Thursday morning. 

This development, coupled with the intercepted rocket, added to the tension as the region braced for potential escalation following the breakdown of the truce.

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