The seven-day Israel-Hamas truce ended on Friday after negotiations reached an impasse and Israel accused the Palestinian militant group of violating the agreement by firing at Israel, writes CNN.
“The nearly 8-week war that preceded the lull in fighting caused widespread destruction and saw more than 14,800 people killed in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the West Bank, which draws its data from Hamas-run health authorities in the Gaza Strip. For the next round of fighting, however, the United States has made it clear to Israel that scale of devastation should not be repeated.
Whether Israel will listen is a different matter. Analysts say the war is bound to continue until Hamas is crushed, and it may be much fiercer this time.
The Israeli military’s announcement about the resumption in fighting came moments after the truce between Israel and Hamas expired. The deal saw the warring parties exchange hostages held in Gaza for Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week vowed that Israel would fight until the end. His government had informed the US before the truce ended that it intended eventually to turn its focus on the southern part of the enclave after fighting resumed.
Benny Gantz, who is part of the war cabinet, said Wednesday the fighting would “expand to wherever it is needed throughout the Strip. There will be no cities of refuge”.
It is unclear if there will be another truce, but with more than 100 hostages still in Hamas captivity, it could theoretically be revived for several days if both parties agree to extend by one day for every 10 hostages released, analysts said.
The deal, however, primarily included women and children. Of the 137 people Israel believes are still in Hamas captivity, 20 are women and 2 are under the age of 18, the prime minister’s office said Friday”.