Israel resumed fighting in Gaza minutes after a temporary cease-fire deal ended, and accused Hamas of having violated the truce. Hamas blames Israel, saying it declined offers to free more hostages. Mediator Qatar said Friday that efforts are ongoing to renew an Israel-Hamas cease-fire and expressed “deep regret” over the resumption of Israeli bombardments.
Over 100 hostages were freed during the seven-day truce, most of whom appear physically well but shaken. Israel says around 125 men are still held hostage. The 240 Palestinians released under the cease-fire were mostly teenagers accused of throwing stones and firebombs during confrontations with Israeli forces.
The deal that began Nov. 24 ended after a week and multiple extensions, despite international pressure for the truce to continue as long as possible. Weeks of Israeli bombardment and a ground campaign have left more than three-quarters of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents uprooted, leading to a humanitarian crisis.
More than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed — roughly two-thirds of them women and minors — according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza, which does not differentiate between civilians and combatants. Some 1,200 Israelis have been killed, mostly during Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel that triggered the war.
— Wartime Israel shows little tolerance for Palestinian dissent.
— Blinken urges Israel to comply with international law and spare civilians.
— Nearly two months into the war, many Israelis have no idea if their relatives are dead or alive.
— Families reunite with 17 Thai hostages freed by Hamas.