Vision Logo Circle
Vision Logo Circle

Gaza War Resumes, No Deal On Truce

by | Fri, Dec 1 2023

Text size: A- A+

The war has resumed in the Gaza Strip after Israel and Hamas failed to reach an agreement on extending the week-long pause in hostilities into an eighth day. Israeli fighter jets hit Hamas targets shortly after the truce expired and fighting resumed in full force. Sirens blared at three communal farms near Gaza warning of incoming rocket fire, suggesting Hamas had also resumed its attacks. It’s expected Israel will escalate its ground offensive in the south of the enclave.

Earlier in the day, Israel accused Hamas of violating the terms of the ceasefire by firing rockets towards Israel. During the week-long truce, Hamas and other militants in Gaza released 105 hostages, most of them Israelis, in return for 240 Palestinians freed from prisons in Israel. About 140 hostages are still being held.

Virtually all of those freed were women and children, but the fact that few such hostages remain in Gaza complicated reaching a deal for a further extension with both sides reluctant to release adult male captives at this stage. Hamas, the militant group that has ruled Gaza for 16 years, had been expected to set a higher price for the remaining hostages, especially Israeli soldiers.

Qatar and Egypt, which have played a key role as mediators had sought to prolong the truce by another two days. Palestinian sources claim negotiations are continuing to try to reinstate the ceasefire. A senior Palestinian negotiator acknowledged to the Reuters news agency that it was becoming much harder to reach a deal.

On Thursday, the seventh day of the truce saw eight more hostages exchanged for 30 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Six women aged 21 to 40 were among the newly freed hostages. They included a Mexican-Israeli dual national and 21-year-old Mia Schem who holds both French and Israeli citizenship. The other two were brother and sister, Belal and Aisha al-Ziadna, aged 18 and 17 respectively. They are Bedouin Arab citizens of Israel and among four members of their family kidnapped while milking cows on a farm.

The temporary ceasefire has allowed hundreds of truckloads of humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza. More fuel and 56 trucks of supplies entered Gaza on Thursday, but deliveries of food, water, medical supplies and fuel remain far below what is needed, aid workers said.

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry reports more than 15,000 Palestinians have been killed since the war began nearly two months ago. That figure cannot be verified.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons