Renewed Israeli Airstrikes on Gaza as Hamas Truce ExpiresDecember 1, 2023
DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — The conflict between Israel and Hamas resumed Friday, with airstrikes hitting the Gaza Strip shortly after a weeklong truce ended. Black smoke rose from the area and Israel dropped leaflets urging civilians to leave their homes. Sirens also sounded in Israel, signaling the resumption of rocket attacks from militants. Negotiators are trying to restart the cease-fire, but Qatar said Israel’s actions were making it difficult. The United States has been encouraging Israel to protect Palestinian civilians as they target Hamas. The renewed fighting has heightened concerns for Palestinians, with many displaced and hundreds of hostages still in Gaza. Israel has said it aims to release the hostages, eliminate Hamas, and ensure that Gaza is no longer a threat. However, hundreds have already died in the renewed offensive, with many more wounded. The leaflets dropped in southern Gaza urged people to leave their homes, warning of danger in the area. A map was also released dividing the Gaza Strip into numbered parcels for evacuation. The Israeli military has been targeting Hamas operatives but has been blamed for civilian casualties due to operating in residential areas. Reactivation of the conflict was prompted by Hamas’s failure to release all women hostages and launching rockets at Israel, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Hamas, on the other hand, claims Israel rejected their offers to release more hostages. The truce had seen the release of 100 hostages by Hamas, but the release of the remaining hostages has now become more difficult. Israel’s bombardment and invasion in Gaza have resulted in thousands of Palestinian casualties, while Israel claims to have killed thousands of terrorists.