Israel on Friday resumed its offensive on the Gaza strip shortly after a week-long ceasefire ended, reported the Associated Press.
Israeli forces dropped leaflets over parts of southern Gaza urging people to leave their homes. The leaflets asked people to leave homes east of the city of Khan Younis, warning that the city was now a “dangerous battle zone”.
This comes after the country had attacked the northern part of Gaza, forcing many to flee southwards.
One of the first airstrikes on Friday targeted a large building in Khan Younis. In Hamad City, a strike hit an apartment in a multi-storey residential building. So far, the Friday attacks have left 54 dead, reported Al Jazeera.
Israeli forces also attacked Gaza City and the Maghazi refugee camp in southern Gaza.
A four-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas had begun on the morning of November 24 and was scheduled to end on November 27. However, the two sides agreed to continue the truce for two more days. On Thursday, Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas had agreed to extend a temporary truce by at least one more day for release of more hostages.
The pause in hostilities was aimed at facilitating the exchange of hostages held by Hamas and Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.
Hamas was believed to have taken over 200 persons hostage when it led an incursion into southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and triggering the war. Since then, over 15,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza in relentless air and ground strikes by Israeli forces, according to the health ministry in Gaza.
So far, Hamas has released 110 hostages including 86 Israelis and 24 foreign nationals, Eylon Levy, the Israeli government spokesperson said, reported Al Jazeera. The militant group still holds 137 hostages from the October attacks, in addition to four others who went missing before the war, he said.
Benjamin Netanyahu accuses Hamas of violating its obligations
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday alleged that Hamas did not meet its obligation to release all of the women hostages and also launched rockets at citizens of his country.
“Upon the resumption of fighting, we emphasize: The Government of Israel is committed to achieving the goals of the war: Releasing the hostages, eliminating Hamas and ensuring that Gaza never again constitutes a threat to the residents of Israel,” he said in a tweet.
However, Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official, alleged that Israel undermined every effort to extend the truce, according to Al-Jazeera.
“Every day in the past seven days of the temporary ceasefire, Israel was acting in a way to undermine the whole process,” he said. “Yesterday night we were talking about extending the temporary ceasefire, we were very clear about some options which were suggested by the mediators – we accepted three suggestions, but all those were rejected by the Israelis.”