At least 178 killed in Gaza in first day of Israeli attacks after ending deal with Hamas

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At least 178 killed in Gaza in first day of Israeli attacks after ending deal with Hamas

At least 178 people were killed on Friday in Gaza after Israel resumed its offensive against the Strip after nearly a week of ceasefire.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry, which gave the death toll, also said dozens were wounded in the attacks.

Israel said it bombed more than 200 Hamas targets.

The Israeli air offensive reached the south of the enclave, including the community of Abassan, east of Khan Yunis, according to the Gaza Ministry of the Interior, which is controlled by Hamas. Another attack hit a home northwest of Gaza City.

Residents said Israel dropped leaflets in some parts of the south urging the evacuation of areas east of Khan Younis, which they called a “dangerous combat zone.” The leaflets are another sign that Israeli forces are preparing to expand an offensive that has so far been focused on the north.

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Loud and continuous explosions could be heard from the Strip and columns of black smoke could be seen. In Israel, air raid sirens were activated in three community farms near Gaza, suggesting that Hamas is also continuing its attacks.

Rockets are being fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

Israel’s announcement came just 30 minutes after the fire ended at 7:00 a.m. local time on Friday. Earlier in the day, authorities accused Hamas of violating the terms of the temporary ceasefire, including launching rockets into Israeli territory from the territory.

“Hamas violated the operational pause and opened fire on Israeli territory,” the Israeli army said in a statement. “The IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) continued the fight against the terrorist organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip,” he added.

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The announcement came after the IDF reported that it had intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza, the first since the ceasefire began on November 24.

A source close to Hamas told AFP that the organization’s armed wing had received “orders to continue combat” and “defend the Gaza Strip.”

Seven-day truce between Israel and Hamas: 100 hostages and 240 Palestinian prisoners freed

The continuation of the fighting ended hopes of extending a seven-day ceasefire that allowed more hostages to be released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, and eased the entry of aid into the Gaza Strip.

However, negotiations between the two sides, with mediators in Qatar and Egypt, continued on Friday, according to a source briefed on the talks.

The previous day, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with the Palestinian and Israeli authorities, urging them to extend the truce, and warned that in the event of a return to fighting they must protect civilians. in Palestine.

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The truce marked a ceasefire in the fighting that began on October 7 when Hamas militants invaded Israel in a surprise attack that left 1,200 dead, mostly civilians, and 240 kidnapped, according to Israeli authorities.

In response, Israel vowed to eliminate Hamas and unleashed a campaign of air and ground attacks on Gaza that, according to Strip authorities, have left more than 15,000 dead, mostly civilians, since Friday.

During the truce brokered by Qatar, at least 80 Israeli hostages were released in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners. More than 20 foreigners, mostly Thais living in Israel, were released outside the exchange agreement.