Over 178 killed, 589 injured as Israeli resumes bombing Gaza

  • Govt calls on Arab, Muslim states to urgently establish field hospitals in the strip
  • UNICEF spokesperson ‘nightmare’ for Gaza gets worse with end of truce

GAZA: Dozens of Palestinians killed since Israel resumed attacks on Gaza after expiration of truce on Friday with the health officials put the number of at over 178.

The Health Ministry in Gaza said casualties rising after resumption of bombing.

The ministry said in a statement that 178 Palestinians have been killed and 589 injured since morning.

Most of the dead and wounded are women and children, it said.

Israeli army drops leaflets telling people in parts of already bombarded and densely populated southern Gaza to evacuate to nearby areas, signalling an expanding offensive.

More than 15,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 7. In Israel, the official death toll stands at about 1,200.

Earlier in the day, Israeli military said ‘resumed combat’ in Gaza after truce with Hamas expired.

A temporary truce between Israel and Hamas expired on Friday, with the Israeli army saying combat operations had resumed and a journalist witnessing air and artillery strikes on Gaza City.

“Hamas violated the operational pause, and in addition, fired toward Israeli territory,” the army said in a statement, adding it had “resumed combat against the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip”.

Israeli warplanes are carrying out a series of strikes, and artillery fire inside Gaza City, it reports. Drones could also be heard in the air over the south of the territory for the first time since the truce.

Minutes after a week-long truce between Israel and Hamas broke down earlier today, Israeli military vehicles were firing in northwest Gaza.

A temporary truce between Israel and Hamas that was due to end at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) on Friday expired, with neither side announcing a deal to extend it, added Reuters.

In the hour before the truce was set to end, Israel said it intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza and Hamas-affiliated media reported sounds of explosions and gunfire in the north of the Palestinian enclave.

Further sirens warning of rockets sounded again in Israeli areas near Gaza just minutes before the deadline, the Israeli military said.

There was no immediate comment from Hamas or claim of responsibility for the launches.

The seven-day pause, which began on November 24 and was extended twice, had allowed for the exchange of dozens of hostages held in Gaza for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and facilitated the entry of humanitarian aid into the shattered enclave.

Qatar and Egypt have been making intensive efforts to extend the truce following the exchange on Thursday of the latest batch of eight hostages and 30 Palestinian prisoners.

Israel had previously set the release of 10 hostages a day as the minimum it would accept to pause its ground assault and bombardment.

“We’re ready for all possibilities…. Without that, we’re going back to the combat,” Mark Regev, an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said on CNN ahead of the expiry of the truce.

Israel has sworn to annihilate Hamas, which rules Gaza, in response to the October 7 raid the resistance group carried out in Israel’s territories against the latter’s continuous violation of Palestinian rights.

Israel retaliated with intense bombardment and a ground invasion. Palestinian health authorities deemed reliable by the United Nations say more than 15,000 Gazans have been confirmed killed.

Thursday’s releases brought the totals freed during the truce to 105 hostages and 240 Palestinian prisoners.

With fewer Israeli women and children left in captivity, lengthening the truce could require setting new terms for Hamas to release Israeli men, including soldiers.

The militant group could in turn seek to have Palestinian male prisoners handed over. So far, three Palestinian prisoners have been freed for each Israeli hostage.

Gaza govt says 3 journalists killed in Israeli raids

Gaza’s government has said three journalists have been killed in Israeli raids as fierce fighting has resumed after a week-long truce, AFP reports.

The government press office identified the three as cameraman Muntassir al-Sawwaf, who worked for Turkey’s Anadolu state news agency, his brother Marwan, who worked as a soundman, and cameraman Abdullah Darwish. It said their deaths brought to 73 the number of journalists killed since the Israeli offensive began on October 7.

The Turkish agency confirmed the death of Sawwaf and two others whom it did not name in southern Gaza.

“We are concerned about the lives of our colleagues, who fulfil their duties with great devotion under very difficult conditions,” Anadolu general director Serdar Karagoz said.

 

Israeli army says it recovers body of Israeli captive in Gaza

The Israeli army says it recovered the body of Ofir Tzarfati in Gaza a few days ago and has notified his family.

According to the Times of Israel, the military said Tzarfati’s body was “brought back to Israel this morning for burial”.

Tzarfati was taken captive from the Supernova music festival on October 7 when Hamas attacked the site outside the Re’im kibbutz, about 5.3km (3.3 miles) from the fence that separates Gaza from southern Israel.

 

UNICEF spokesperson: ‘Nightmare’ for Gaza gets worse with end of truce

James Elder tells Al Jazeera that the right kind of aid has been getting to the people of the Gaza Strip over the last seven days during the pause in fighting.

“But today it came to a grinding halt,” he said. “The only thing we really saw today was more casualties and fear returning to children.”

The aid has been “so critical, it cannot stop, we know it’s not enough”, he continued.

He described desperate shortages of water, food and medicine in the besieged Strip, but looking towards the future, he said the UN has been worried that it will see a “devastating increase in the deaths, particularly of children, the most vulnerable in Gaza, because of disease”.

“We have pleaded” for a ceasefire in “every corner of power”, he added.

“This nightmare for people today just somehow got so much worse.”

 

UN rights office ‘seriously concerned’ about Israel’s increased arrest of Palestinians

A United Nations office has said it is “seriously concerned” about a dramatic rise in Israel’s arrest of Palestinians and called for an investigation into allegations of torture in Israeli custody, Reuters reports.

Israel has arrested more than 3,000 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since the start of the Gaza war in early October and a record high number were being held without charge or trial, said a statement by the UN Human Rights Office in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Within the span of two months, six Palestinian men have died in Israeli custody, the highest number of cases in such a short period in decades, it said.

 

Gaza media office says field hospitals urgently needed as Israel resumes bombardment

Gaza’s government media office has called on Arab and Muslim states to urgently establish field hospitals in the strip to save “tens of thousands of injured people”.

Speaking to reporters after Israeli forces resumed their offensive in Gaza, the office’s spokesperson, Salama Marouf, said a “large number of aid trucks” is also urgently needed, including at least 1 million litres (more than 264,000 gallons) of fuel per day.

Marouf called on countries, especially members of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, to come up with an “urgent rescue plan” and to find “quick humanitarian solutions that address the fate of more than 250,000 families who have lost their homes”.

Turkish president expresses disapproval of truce collapse to UAE’s MBZ

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tells his Emirati counterpart, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ), that the collapse of the truce in Gaza is “very negative”, the Turkish presidency says in a statement.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.

On Thursday, the Israeli president also met with MBZ at the summit.

During the meeting, Herzog asked MBZ to use the UAE’s “full diplomatic weight” to get behind Israel’s efforts to bring back captives taken to Gaza.

The Times of Israel reported that MBZ stressed the importance of allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza.

 

Hamas says offered to hand over remains of hostage family

Hamas has said said it had offered to hand over the bodies of a mother and her two sons — one of them a baby — in talks to extend a now-expired temporary truce in Gaza, AFP reports.

Earlier this week, Hamas’s armed wing announced that Shiri Bibas, her 10-month-old son Kfir and his four-year-old brother Ariel had been killed in an Israeli bombing before the now-lapsed truce went into effect — a claim Israel’s military has said it is investigating, but has yet to confirm.

“Throughout the night, indirect negotiations unfolded to extend the truce,” the Palestinian group said in a statement.

“Hamas also offered to transfer the Bibas family’s bodies and release their father for their burial, along with two Zionist detainees,” it added. Israeli authorities “remained unresponsive”, it said.

 

Despite efforts to extend truce, US expresses support for Israel as war resumes

Despite efforts made by the US and its mediating partners to extend the truce between Israel and Hamas, Israeli forces have resumed pounding the enclave, killing more than 100 people.

The latest attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Gaza come after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Israeli officials a day earlier that they must account for the safety of Palestinian civilians before resuming the war.

In remarks from Tel Aviv on Thursday, Blinken also said Palestinians displaced from northern Gaza must be allowed to return “when conditions permit”.

Blinken said he “made clear the imperative before any operations go forward in southern Gaza there’ll be a clear plan in place that puts a premium on protecting civilians, as well as sustaining and building on humanitarian assistance getting to Gaza”.

The US’s top diplomat said that Israel had agreed to that – but based on the bombing campaign on Friday, and the death toll that has accompanied it, there appears to be little difference between Israel’s campaign before and after the truce, with Palestinian civilians continuing to suffer.

The US has remained Israel’s top ally and supporter throughout the latest assault on Gaza, and the Biden administration has only gone as far as occasionally softening its language when under pressure to shift its policy amid the rising death toll in Gaza.

 

UAW calls for ceasefire in Gaza

The United Auto Workers union in the US has joined global calls for an end to the fighting in Gaza.

Brandon Mancilla, a regional director for the union, announced its support for a ceasefire on X.

“From opposing fascism in WWII to mobilizing against apartheid South Africa and the CONTRA war, the [union] has consistently stood for justice across the globe,” he wrote.

Biden has long courted support from the UAW, which says it has more than 400,000 active members. In September, the president joined striking members on a picket line in Michigan.

 

MSF: Nowhere is safe in Gaza

Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) is calling on the Israeli army to revoke evacuation orders it gave residents of Gaza earlier in the day.

“Civilians are being ordered to move south, but nowhere in Gaza is safe due to the indiscriminate bombing and continued fighting,” the organisation wrote on its X account. “We need a sustained ceasefire now.”

The Israeli army has dropped leaflets on the southern city of Khan Younis, instructing Palestinians there to flee farther south to Rafah.

 

Rocket fire from Gaza towards Israel resumes after truce collapse

A second barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip headed towards central Israel, this time just a little bit south of Tel Aviv.

These areas were repeatedly targeted by the al-Qassam Brigades [the armed wing of Hamas] during this war.

On day 56, we’re continuously seeing, since that ceasefire expired, rocket fire renewing towards places like Tel Aviv and central Israel.

The Israelis are saying that the Iron Dome missile defence system has successfully intercepted those missiles…  but earlier in the morning we saw damage to several vehicles and damage to one home in a southern area after the Iron Dome failed to intercept one of those rockets

Remember, when these sirens go off, the farther you are away from the Gaza Strip, the more time you have to enter a shelter.

As advised by Israeli authorities, when you’re in Tel Aviv, you’ve got around a minute to a minute and a half, but when you’re somewhere closer to the Gaza Strip, you’ve got about 15 to 30 seconds.

The reason why authorities advise people to go into these protected areas is because while the Iron Dome does have a high success rate, the problem comes after the interception, when there is shrapnel that falls and can injure a lot of people, and even be deadly.

 

In meeting with Britain’s Cameron, Qatar PM reiterates willingness to resume mediation efforts

Qatar’s prime minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, has met with the United Kingdom’s newly appointed foreign secretary, David Cameron, on the sidelines of COP28 in Dubai.

The two reviewed the latest developments in Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territories as well as ways to implement a lasting ceasefire, a statement released by Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Mohammed said Qatar was committed to continuing efforts to de-escalate and said the resumption of the Israeli bombardment after the truce “complicates mediation efforts and exacerbates the humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza.

He reaffirmed Qatar’s position in condemning the targeting of civilians, especially woman and children, and called for the opening of humanitarian corridors for the flow of aid, the statement added.

 

Hamas leaders were aware of Israeli recording devices before October 7: Report

Security sources told The Jerusalem Post that Hamas leaders Mohammed Deif and Yahya Sinwar are believed to have known that they were under close surveillance by Israel and chose to exchange details about preparations for the October 7 attack using covert methods, such as face-to-face conversations.

The article said that Israeli military teams had left behind tapping devices in Hamas strongholds in 2018 but that the group had found them.

Hamas’s knowledge of the surveillance meant that Israel was unprepared for the attack, the report said.

However, reports have also emerged in The New York Times that the Israeli military was aware of Hamas’s plan more than a year before the attack and were in possession of a battle plan.

 

Three killed in Lebanon as Israel, Hezbollah resume fire

Lebanon’s state news agency has reported that Israeli shelling has killed three people in south Lebanon as the collapse of a temporary truce between Israel and Hamas has prompted a resumption of hostilities at the frontier, Reuters reports.

The Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, later said one of its fighters was among those killed. It also said it had carried out several attacks on Israeli military positions at the border in support of Palestinians in Gaza.

The Israeli army said its artillery struck sources of fire from Lebanon and air defences had intercepted two launches. The army also said it struck a “terrorist cell”. Sirens warning of possible incoming rockets sounded in several towns in northern Israel, sending residents running for shelter.

Lebanon’s state news agency reported that two people were killed by Israeli shelling in the Lebanese border town of Houla, and one person was killed in the village of Jebbayn.

Israeli shelling killed a woman and her 35-year-old son in Houla, Shakeeb Koteich, the head of the town’s municipal council, told Reuters, saying both were civilians. Hezbollah later said a “martyr” was killed in Houla.

“A shell landed near the house, and then a second one hit the house,” Koteich said by telephone.

 

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