Israel Resumes Attacks In Gaza After Truce Expiry

Israel has resumed combat operations targeting Hamas in Gaza after seven days of truce expired without renewal.

Reports say that even as Egyptian and Qatari mediators are continuing efforts to reach an agreement between the two sides to extend the truce, explosions and gunfire are taking place in the Palestinian enclave.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that in meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior Israeli officials on Thursday, he made clear that before Israel resumes major military operations, it must put in place humanitarian civilian protection plans that minimize further casualties of innocent Palestinians.

“That means taking more effective steps to protect the lives of civilians, including by clearly and precisely designating areas and places in southern and central Gaza where they can be safe and out of the line of fire,” Blinken said at a news conference in Tel Aviv.

He urged Israeli leadership to spare life-critical infrastructure, like hospitals, power stations and water facilities, from attacks.

The top U.S. diplomat said he told Netanyahu that the massive loss of civilian life and displacement of the scale seen in northern Gaza not be repeated in the south.

“Israel understands the imperative of protecting civilians, the imperative of the humanitarian assistance, and we’ll continue to work to ensure that that carries forward in practice,” he told reporters.

The Israeli military accused Hamas of violating terms of the deal for pause in fighting by firing toward Israel while the truce was still in force.

Hamas has claimed responsibility for its attack on people waiting at a bus stop in Jerusalem Thursday, which killed three Israeli civilians and wounded at least six others, including two American citizens.

The Hamas-controlled Government Media Office put the blame on the United States and the international community.

The Gaza militant group has released a total of 110 hostages, while Israel freed 240 Palestinians detainees during the week-long truce period, according to reports. Most of them are women and children.

Out of 259 hostages Hamas abducted in a surprise attack carried out in Israeli cities on October 7, 149 people are still held in captivity. Around 1,200 people, mostly Israelis, were killed in the militant attack across the border, while around 14,800 people lost their lives in Gaza in retaliatory attacks by Israel Defense Forces.

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