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Israeli bombs batter the Gaza Strip after a week of truce as deal with Hamas lapses

This picture taken from the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip, shows an explosion in the northern part of the Palestinian enclave during an Israeli attack on November 22, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Hamas movement.
John Macdougall | Afp | Getty Images

Israeli bombs hit the Gaza Strip Friday morning after a week-long truce with Hamas expired and Israeli forces accused the Palestinian militant group of breaching the terms of their agreement.

“Following sirens that sounded in communities near Gaza, the IDF Aerial Defense Array successfully intercepted a launch from Gaza,” a post on the Israeli Defense Forces’ official X account read at 6:18 a.m. local time.

One hour later, it posted an update that read: “Hamas violated the operational pause, and in addition, fired toward Israeli territory. The IDF has resumed combat against the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza.”

The truce itself expired at 7 a.m. local time on Friday. It went into place on Nov. 24, initially meant to last four days but was extended for three more days as Qatari and Egyptian negotiators worked to further the pause in fighting. That allowed for many more Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners to be exchanged and more humanitarian aid to enter the battered Gaza Strip.

In total, as of Friday, 110 of the hostages taken by Hamas into Gaza on Oct. 7 have been released. That includes 78 Israeli and dual-nationals, mostly women and children, freed in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners who had been held in Israeli prisons. Under the terms of that deal, three Palestinian prisoners were exchanged for every one Israeli hostage.

Israel’s war with Hamas that began on Oct. 7 is the bloodiest in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict yet, and has killed more than 14,500 people in the besieged Gaza Strip, according to health authorities there.

The air and land offensive by Israeli forces was launched in retaliation to a terrorist attack by Hamas on southern Israel that killed some 1,200 people and saw another roughly 240 taken hostage into Gaza. Israel authorities say that around 150 hostages remain there.

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