Gaza Truce Ends, Israel Resumes Deadly Attacks on Civilians

The fragile truce between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip collapsed on Friday, as Israel resumed its relentless airstrikes on the besieged Palestinian territory, killing more than 60 people and injuring dozens more in a matter of hours.

The humanitarian pause, which was mediated by Qatar and lasted for four days, ended at 7 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) on Friday, without any announcement of an extension or a permanent ceasefire.

According to the Gazan Health Ministry, most of the victims were women and children, who were targeted by Israeli warplanes in their homes or in public places. The ministry also said that medical teams were overwhelmed by the large number of wounded, who were lying on the floor in emergency departments and in front of operating rooms.

The ministry spokesperson, Ashraf al-Qudra, said that the health system in Gaza was on the verge of collapse, as hospitals and clinics were running out of supplies, equipment and staff. He appealed to the international community to intervene urgently to stop the Israeli aggression and lift the blockade on Gaza.

The Israeli military said it resumed its attacks on Gaza in response to rocket fire from Hamas and other Palestinian factions, who accused Israel of violating the truce and failing to meet their demands for a lasting ceasefire.

The main demands of the Palestinians include lifting the 15-year-long blockade on Gaza, which has crippled its economy and caused widespread poverty and suffering; ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem; releasing Palestinian prisoners and detainees; and allowing the reconstruction of Gaza, which has been devastated by four wars since 2008.

The Israeli government, however, has rejected most of these demands, insisting that it will only agree to a long-term truce if Hamas disarms and renounces violence. It has also demanded that Hamas returns more than 240 hostages it took during its 7 October attack on southern Israel, which sparked the latest round of fighting.

Since then, more than 14,500 Palestinians have been killed and over 100,000 injured in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. The UN estimates that more than 80% of the casualties are civilians, and that more than half a million people have been displaced by the violence.

On the Israeli side, at least 1,200 people have been killed and over 6,000 injured by rocket fire from Gaza or in clashes with Palestinian protesters in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The UN says that most of the victims are soldiers or settlers.

The international community has expressed alarm over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the rising death toll on both sides. Several countries have called for an immediate end to hostilities and a resumption of negotiations for a lasting peace.

Qatar, Egypt and the US have been leading the diplomatic efforts to broker a deal between Israel and Hamas, but so far they have only managed to secure temporary pauses in the fighting. The latest truce was extended twice before it ended on Friday.

The Qatari foreign ministry said it was still working to achieve an agreement for another extension of the humanitarian pause, but did not give any details or a timeline. It urged both parties to show restraint and respect for human life.

Meanwhile, Palestinians in Gaza continued to live under fear and uncertainty, as they faced another day of Israeli bombardment and rocket fire. Many of them expressed anger and frustration over the failure of the international community to protect them and end their suffering.

Some of them also expressed hope that their resistance would eventually prevail over the Israeli occupation and oppression. They said they would not give up their rights or their dignity, even if it meant paying with their lives.

Back to top button