published : 2023-12-01

Israel-Hamas War: Cease-Fire Expires, Offensive Resumes with Israeli Airstrikes

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blames Hamas for ending the truce

An Israeli fighter jet carrying out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, taken with a Sony Alpha 7R III.

Israeli fighter jets struck several targets in the Gaza Strip just minutes after a weeklong truce expired on Friday morning, resuming the war with Hamas.

After more than 100 hostages were freed as part of the cease-fire and Palestinians in Gaza experienced days of peace for the first time since a wider war broke out between Israel and Hamas, black smoke billowed from the besieged territory once again.

The renewed hostilities came as Israel and Hamas have traded blame for the collapse of the cease-fire, with each saying the other side violated the terms of the truce.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu specifically said Hamas had 'not met its obligation to release all of the women hostages today and has launched rockets at Israeli citizens.'

Hours after the Israeli airstrikes, the Health Ministry of Hamas-controlled Gaza said 32 people had been killed and dozens wounded. Hours later, they updated the figure to 54 dead.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressing the media, taken with a Nikon D850.

Fighting between Israel and Hamas initially stopped on Nov. 24 after both sides negotiated a temporary cease-fire to exchange Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners being held in Israel. It initially lasted for four days but was extended for several days with the help of Qatar and fellow mediator Egypt.

Qatar, which has served as a mediator along with Egypt, expressed 'deep regret' over the Israeli bombardments, saying the resumption of violence further complicates its attempts to negotiate peace.

These negotiators are continuing talks to restart the truce, according to mediator Qatar.

The renewed fighting came a day after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the region for the fourth time in recent months.

In Israel, the chief diplomat met with Israeli officials and urged them to do more to protect Palestinian civilians as they continue their objective to eliminate Hamas. Blinken then traveled to the COP28 climate talks in Dubai, where he was to meet with Arab foreign ministers and others.

Aerial view of the Gaza Strip showing smoke rising from the area, taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

Netanyahu has not said if he will heed the appeals of the United States to prevent unnecessary civilian casualties.

Netanyahu’s office said Friday that Israel 'is committed to achieving the goals of the war: Releasing the hostages, eliminating Hamas, and ensuring that Gaza never again constitutes a threat to the residents of Israel.'

The current war was triggered when Hamas led a deadly attack on Israel on Oct. 7, during which it and Palestinian militants killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took around 240 people back into Gaza as hostages.

Israel then declared war on the terror group, vowing to end its rule in Gaza and led a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. According to the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza, more than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 7. The ministry does not differentiate between civilians and combatants.