Israeli bombing of Gaza resumes as pause for hostage launch ends | EUROtoday

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JERUSALEM — Despite pleas by world leaders, the seven-day humanitarian pause in combating in Gaza ended on Friday with aerial bombardment and rocket hearth, with Israel and Hamas blaming the opposite for the renewed hostilities.

Just hours after Secretary of State Antony Blinken departed from Tel Aviv, Israeli jets started placing 200 targets within the Gaza Strip, whereas rockets arced towards Israel and reviews of Palestinian casualties rolled in.

Blinken stated the Israeli authorities had agreed to “a clear plan” to avert civilian deaths earlier than it resumed its assault on southern Gaza, amid intensifying U.S. stress on Tel Aviv to scale back the battle’s grave humanitarian toll.

Israel agrees to guard civilians when Gaza battle resumes, Blinken says

By Blinken’s account, he was forceful with Israeli leaders and acquired assurances that they’d change how they wage the battle.

Speaking on the sidelines of the U.N. local weather convention Friday in Dubai, Blinken blamed Hamas for ending the non permanent truce. The militant group “began firing rockets before the pause had ended,” he stated, and “reneged on commitments it made in terms of releasing certain hostages.”

Blinken praised Israeli efforts to guard Palestinian civilians, “including making sure that they have the information they need, and that there are ways to accommodate them.”

The Gaza Health Ministry reported Friday that 178 Palestinians had died after hostilities resumed.

The sides agreed to the pause, and prolonged it twice to permit the alternate of hostages kidnapped from Israel throughout raids by Hamas and different fighters on Oct. 7 for Palestinians held in Israeli prisons and to extend the quantity of humanitarian support getting into Gaza.

Blinken stated the Biden administration would proceed its efforts to free the remaining hostages. “We’re still at this,” he stated, however he acknowledged it will rely upon Hamas’s willingness to surrender the folks it captured on Oct. 7.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces, confirmed early Friday that combating had resumed in Gaza. “We are back at it,” he stated. “Now we are preparing for the next stage — southern Gaza.”

As the bombs started to fall, they have been accompanied by leaflets in southern Gaza, the place most individuals within the north have fled within the two months of battle, warning that they have been now in fight zones. The IDF additionally introduced an interactive map to inform residents when to go away their areas — a part of its effort to scale back civilian casualties. The enclave has struggled with web connectivity.

Government spokesman Eylon Levy blamed Hamas for the resumption in combating.

“Unfortunately, Hamas decided to terminate the pause by failing to release all the kidnapped women as it was obligated to do,” he informed reporters. He stated the group had failed to offer a full listing of hostages it meant to launch Friday. “So having chosen to hold on to our women, Hamas will now take the mother of all thumpings.”

Hamas countered that it was Israel that ended the truce when it rejected a suggestion to launch aged Palestinian prisoners in alternate for aged male Israeli hostages and the our bodies of three Israeli hostages, together with two youngsters from the Bibas household.

“The Israelis refused, and it is clear that they have made a decision,” Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official in Beirut, informed The Washington Post in a voice message. “The aggression against the Gaza Strip preceded the resumption of the fighting, so the one who ended the negotiation situation and thwarted all the efforts made was the Israeli side.”

Qatar, which has been internet hosting the talks over the pause in combating for the previous weeks, expressed its “deep regret at the resumption of the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip” and stated the renewed bombing of Gaza complicates the still-ongoing mediation.

Dozens of individuals have been killed in strikes in southern Gaza after the seven-day pause in combating between Israel and Hamas ended on Dec. 1. (Video: Reuters)

A U.S. official, talking on the situation of anonymity to debate closed-door talks, steered that the breakdown got here as a result of Hamas might have launched all or practically all the hostages it seems to be keen to launch for now. “We’re at the end of the line.”

Here are the hostages launched by Hamas and people remaining in Gaza

Israel stated Friday that there have been nonetheless 137 hostages in Gaza, the overwhelming majority of them males, together with many troopers. Hamas is claimed to be calling for extra prisoners to be launched than the three-Palestinians-for-each-hostage ratio of the pause.

During the week-long pause, Hamas launched greater than 100 Israeli and worldwide hostages, most of them ladies and youngsters, and Israel launched 240 Palestinian prisoners, additionally ladies and juveniles, a lot of them detained for rock-throwing and incitement.

Hamas and different fighters streamed out of Gaza early on Oct. 7 to assault Israeli cities close to the enclave. They killed round 1,200 folks and took 240 extra as hostages. Israel has responded with a navy marketing campaign that leaders say is geared toward eradicating Hamas from Gaza.

Since the Hamas assault, Israel has detained round 3,400 Palestinians, in keeping with the Palestinian Commission for Detainees and ex-Prisoners’ Affairs. The Gaza Health Ministry stated final week that the Israeli navy marketing campaign had precipitated greater than 13,300 deaths, however communication challenges and no-go areas have made it not possible to provide an entire depend.

Reem, a mom in Gaza City’s central Rimal neighborhood, a spotlight of the combating, heard the increase of tank hearth Friday morning and sprang into motion.

“When we heard the sounds, we told the kids to prepare their things in case we had to go,” she informed The Post by telephone. She spoke on the situation that her final identify be withheld to guard her privateness.

“We told them to move away from the windows,” she stated. “All of the things that we became accustomed to during the war, we returned to that today.”

Aid is trickling in, however Gaza nonetheless grows hungrier

The household moved all the way down to a neighbor’s ground-floor residence, hoping it will be safer. As she spoke, two blasts boomed within the background.

Reem had not anticipated Israel’s air and floor assault resume Friday. “Unfortunately, we had hope until the last minute that the cease-fire would be extended,” she stated. “We hadn’t prepared ourselves psychologically for the return to war.”

While support elevated throughout the pause, the World Food Program warned that it was not practically sufficient to stave off the rising threat of famine and hunger.

James Elder, a spokesman for the U.N. youngsters’s company, UNICEF, informed The Post that the bombardment in southern Gaza was fixed.

“I can hear attacks everywhere, airstrikes,” Elder stated in a phone interview from the enclave. “It’s relentless,” he stated, and streets have been “emptying out.” He had simply left the al-Nasser hospital, which he stated was “on life support.” There was not sufficient medical employees and never sufficient house for the flood of sufferers. The hospital was at “200 percent capacity,” he stated.

During the pause, Elder joined support convoys touring to northern Gaza. “The way up is just devastation,” he stated. He noticed properties and residence blocks that had been destroyed, he stated, trash piling up within the streets and the “stunned faces of those who decided to stay.”

As the Israeli offensive roared again into operation, he stated, folks in southern Gaza have been “terrified about having to move.”

“There is nowhere to move to,” he stated. “It’s not a cliché to say that nowhere is safe.”

According to U.S. officers, Israel intends to designate some neighborhoods in southern Gaza as “deconfliction areas.” One official stated Israeli operations within the south would in some methods resemble a counterterrorism operation, and that the Israelis had dedicated to not attacking the city areas of Khan Younis and Rafah with the depth with which they attacked Gaza City, the place greater than 60 p.c of residences at the moment are estimated to be broken or destroyed.

Yet on Friday, the IDF dropped leaflets on Khan Younis declaring town a “dangerous combat zone,” and directed residents to maneuver additional south to Rafah close to the Egyptian border.

Birnbaum reported from Dubai, Fahim reported from Beirut, and Booth reported from London. Paul Schemm in London and Hazem Balousha in Amman contributed to this report.