Friday, December 1, 2023 5:25 am
Jerusalem– The Israeli military said it had resumed combat operations in the Gaza Strip minutes after a temporary truce with Hamas expired on Friday, accusing the armed group of violating the ceasefire.
The truce expires at 7 am (0500 GMT) on Friday. The armistice began a week earlier, on November 24. It initially lasted four days and was later extended by several days with the help of Qatar and mediation partner Egypt.
During the week-long truce, Hamas and other militants in Gaza released more than 100 hostages, mostly Israelis, in exchange for the release of 240 Palestinians from Israeli prisons.
The fact that all those released were women and children, but there are so few hostages left in Gaza, complicates an agreement for a further extension.
Hamas, the militant group that has ruled Gaza for 16 years, is also expected to pay a higher price for the remaining hostages, especially Israeli soldiers. About 140 hostages remain in Gaza, 100 of whom have been released under the armistice agreement.
Qatar and Egypt, which play key roles as mediators, sought to extend the truce for another two days.
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