Truce Ends in Gaza

The Israel Defence Forces said it resumed combat against the Hamas in Gaza after accusing it of violating the truce agreement by firing towards the Jewish state….reports Asian Lite News

Israel on Friday resumed combat operations against the Hamas in Gaza, accusing the militant group of violating the truce agreement by firing towards the Jewish state, thus ending the seven-day ceasefire.

In a post on X, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said: “Hamas violated the operational pause, and in addition, fired toward Israeli territory. The IDF has resumed combat against the Hamas in Gaza.”

The truce, which was only renewed at the last minute for the seventh day on Thursday, was set to expire again at around 7 a.m. local time (about 10.30 a.m. IST) on Friday.

Thursday’s extension was the second of the initial four-day truce that commenced on Novermber 24. It was extended for two more days on Tuesday.

Since the start of the pause, 240 Palestinians, 86 Israelis, and 24 foreign nationals have reportedly been released.

Shortly before the seven-day truce was set to expire, Israel said it shot down a rocket fired from Gaza while media outlets affiliated with the Hamas group reported explosions and gunfire in northern Gaza, reports the BBC.

Several air strikes have hit the southern Gaza Strip, the Hamas-run interior and national security ministry said on its Telegram account. In a statement, the Ministry also said Israeli aircraft were in the skies above the area.

Egyptian and Qatari negotiators had been pushing to extend the pause in fighting in Gaza for an extra two days to facilitate the release of more hostages and prisoners, and to allow more aid into the strip, according to Egypt’s State Information Service.

Israeli officials had repeatedly stated that a condition of any extension to the pause in fighting is that Hamas must release 10 Israeli women and children held hostage per day. Under the terms of the deal, Israel freed three Palestinians for every Israeli hostage released.

On Thursday, both Israel and Hamas have indicated they were prepared for fighting to resume. “We should be prepared for a quick transition into full scale fighting at any point, today, tomorrow, at any moment. As soon as we maximise the move to return hostages we will resume fierce fighting across the whole Gaza Strip,” CNN quoted Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant as saying on Thursday.

Hamas’ military wing also asked its forces to maintain a high-combat readiness posture.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday blamed the Hamas of breaking the seven-day humanitarian truce in Gaza by refusing to release more hostages.

In a statement posted on X, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said: “The Hamas-ISIS terrorist organization has violated the outline. It has not met its obligation to release all of the women hostages today and has launched rockets at Israeli citizens.

“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.”

Spain-Israel Relations Worsen

The diplomatic relations between Spain and Israel worsened after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticised comments by his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez that he had “serious doubts” over whether the Jewish nation was observing international humanitarian law in Gaza.

Speaking on the Spanish state TV network RTVE about the conflict in Gaza, Sanchez on Thursday first underlined that “what Hamas did in Israel is absolutely despicable”, reports Xinhua news agency

He stressed Spain’s “condemnation and rejection” of the attack, saying that “Hamas has to free all of its hostages in Gaza without any conditions”.

However, Sanchez also said Israel must “base its actions on international humanitarian law”.

“With the images that we are seeing, and the growing number of victims, especially children who are dying, frankly I have doubts that they (Israel) are fulfilling international humanitarian law,” he added.

The Spanish Prime Minister said that a political solution was needed to end the conflict in Gaza and the solution is a Palestinian state.

He argued that Israel is already an internationally recognised country and the US and European countries should also recognise Palestine.

In response to Sanchez’s statement, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said in a tweet that the Spanish Ambassador to Israel was summoned to the Israeli Foreign Ministry “for a reprimand”, calling the remarks “shameful comments”.

This is the second time in a week that Spain’s ambassador to Israel was summoned for a rebuke.

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