War in the Middle East: Deadline for ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has expired

War in the Middle East: Deadline for ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has expired

Hopes for a further extension of the ceasefire in the Gaza war have been dashed. Israel’s army says it has resumed fighting against the Islamist Hamas – and accuses the terrorists of violating the ceasefire agreement.

The Israeli army says it has resumed fighting in the Gaza Strip against the Islamist Hamas. Fighter planes are currently attacking Islamist Hamas targets in the cordoned off area, the army announced on Friday morning after the end of the week-long ceasefire.

Israel accuses Hamas of violating the ceasefire

Hamas violated the ceasefire and fired into Israeli territory, the army said. According to its own statements, it initially repelled a suspected rocket attack from the Gaza Strip shortly before the end of the ceasefire deadline. Subsequently, several attacks were reported from the sealed off area towards Israel, which were not intercepted.

The Arabic television channel Al Jazeera reported heavy fighting in the city of Gaza and other areas in the north of the Gaza Strip, citing eyewitnesses. In the center of the Gaza Strip there is also tank fire near the Nuseirat and Bureij refugee camps, it said. The BBC also reported air strikes in the south of the Gaza Strip, citing Hamas. The British broadcaster reported that its own sources had confirmed this.

Both sides, through the mediation of Qatar, Egypt and the USA, agreed to a ceasefire a week ago, which has since been extended twice – most recently by one day. During this time, Hamas released dozens of Israeli hostages, and in return Israel released Palestinian prisoners. In addition, further aid supplies arrived in the sealed-off Gaza Strip.

US Secretary of State Blinken warned of civilian casualties

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday clearly called on Israel’s leadership to protect civilians in the Gaza Strip. If Israel resumes the war and advances against the southern Gaza Strip to pursue Hamas, it will be “imperative” that Israel abide by international humanitarian law and the rules of warfare, Blinken said. The numerous deaths among the civilian population and the displacement on the scale seen in the northern Gaza Strip must not be repeated in the south, he warned.

During the ceasefire, 80 hostages kidnapped from Israel by the Palestinian organization have been freed as part of an agreement between Israel and Hamas. In return, 210 Palestinian prisoners were released. In addition, 23 Thais, a Filipino and a Russian-Israeli dual national were released outside the agreement.

Source: Stern

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