Unrest escalates in Israel-Hamas conflict as truce expirestext_fields
As the truce between Israel and Hamas passed over Israel resumed its military operation in Gaza with reports suggest heavy clashes are taking place between Palestinian fighting groups and Israeli troops in the north of the Gaza Strip.
The seven-day ceasefire, set to expire at 7 am (0500 GMT) on Friday, failed to bring a lasting calm to the region. Reports indicate that over 60 percent of homes in Gaza have been destroyed, primarily in the northern part of the territory, including Gaza City.
The extensive damage has left at least 50,000 families and their extended relatives homeless, with an additional 250,000 housing units partially demolished during the Israeli bombardment campaign initiated on October 7.
Despite the renewed hostilities, negotiations persisted, with Egypt and Qatar expressing optimism about securing a two-day extension. The potential agreement hinged on the release of more hostages, with the Israel Prison Service confirming the release of 30 Palestinians from Israeli jails as part of the truce deal with Hamas.
However, the fragile state of affairs was further strained when two gunmen, identified as Hamas members Murad Namr, 38, and Ibrahim Namr, 30, opened fire in Jerusalem, killing two women and a man while injuring thirteen others.
The assailants were neutralized by off-duty soldiers and an armed civilian, with Hamas's armed wing, al-Qassam Brigades, claiming responsibility. The attack was declared a response to what they referred to as "the occupation’s crimes of killing children and women in Gaza and the occupied West Bank."
In response to the Jerusalem incident, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu labelled the attackers as "Hamas murderers" and vowed to eliminate the group entirely.
During a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Netanyahu asserted his commitment to achieving three key goals: freeing all remaining hostages held by Hamas, eradicating the group, and ensuring that Gaza poses no future threat.
Blinken emphasized that "Hamas cannot remain in control of Gaza." He reiterated calls for Israel to adhere to international law and take every possible measure to avoid harm to civilians in the ongoing conflict.