The Israeli army has resumed its offensive in Gaza, putting an end to a 7-day truce implemented last Friday.
On Friday morning, Israeli airstrikes began pounding various areas across the Gaza Strip, including in the south, where the majority of 1.8 million displaced Palestinians are currently staying. At least 32 people have been killed since Israel resumed its offensive, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza.
A statement issued by the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the military had renewed the fighting after Hamas “violated the framework, did not meet its obligation to release all female hostages and fired rockets at Israel.”
The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing, said in a statement on its Telegram channel that it has targeted Israeli towns and cities in response to what it called “Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.”
Local authorities in southern Israel said rockets fired from Gaza had caused property damage in Kibbutz Mefalsim.
Hamas said that negotiations to extend the truce had been ongoing overnight and that Israel had rejected its offer to swap prisoners and to hand over the bodies of the hostages killed in Israel's bombardment of Gaza.
Qatar, which helped mediate the now-defunct truce, expressed “deep regret” at the renewed fighting and warned that the ongoing Israeli bombing “complicates mediation efforts and exacerbates the humanitarian catastrophe in the Strip.” The Qatari Foreign Ministry added that negotiations to restore calm are ongoing.
“Qatar is committed, along with its mediation partners, to continuing the efforts that led to the humanitarian pause, and will not hesitate to do everything necessary to return to calm,” the ministry added.
Last Friday, a humanitarian truce began in Gaza under a deal mediated by Qatar, Egypt and the United States. As part of the agreement, more aid was to be allowed into the besieged enclave. As of Thursday, 1,132 trucks carrying humanitarian aid had entered Gaza during the pause in the fighting, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
Israel and Hamas also agreed to release hostages and Palestinian prisoners — all women and children — during the temporary truce. By Thursday, a total of 110 hostages out of the 240 seized by Hamas during its Oct. 7 assault in southern Israel were released under the agreement. In exchange, Israel released 240 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.
Minutes before the fighting resumed on Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken left Israel en route to the United Arab Emirates, according to the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation. In a meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Thursday, Blinken reiterated US support for Israel’s right to self-defense. He also called on Israel “to take every possible measure to avoid civilian harm.”
Netanyahu told the top US diplomat during their sit-down that the war in Gaza will continue until all the hostages are released and Hamas is eliminated.
In a televised address following the meeting, Netanyahu said, “I told him we have sworn, and I have sworn, to destroy Hamas. Nothing will stop us.”
Ezgi Akin, Beatrice Farhat, Rina Bassist, Elizabeth Hagedorn, Adam Lucente, Jack Dutton, Jared Szuba and Al-Monitor’s contributors on the ground in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel contributed to this blog.
Live updates (all times EDT):
Friday, Dec. 1, 2023
3:54 am: Qatar expresses regret over renewed Gaza fighting, says truce talks ongoing
Qatar expressed “deep regret” at the resumption of fighting in the Hamas-Israel war after the expiration of a temporary truce. In a statement, the Qatari Foreign Ministry stressed that “the continued bombing of the Gaza Strip in the first hours after the end of the pause complicates mediation efforts and exacerbates the humanitarian catastrophe in the Strip.” It added that negotiations to restore calm are ongoing.
3:07 am: Hamas’ armed wing says it targeted southern Israeli towns
The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing, said in a statement posted on its Telegram channel that it had targeted Israeli towns and cities in response to the Israeli “crimes” against Gaza Friday morning. Rocket sirens blared in southern Israel Friday morning, after a temporary truce between Hamas and Israel expired. Israel soon resumed its airstrikes across the Gaza Strip.
2:54 am: Death toll in Gaza renewed fighting rises to 32
The death toll in renewed Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip has risen to 32 Palestinians, according to medical reports cited by WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency. Israel resumed its campaign in Gaza following the end of a seven-day truce. Heavy airstrikes were reported across the enclave, in Khan Yunis, in the south, in the Bureij refugee camp, in the center, and in Gaza City, in the north.
2:15 am: Dozens killed in renewed Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip
At least 14 people have been killed since Israel resumed its airstrikes on the Gaza Strip earlier on Friday, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. The Israeli army has launched heavy airstrikes in the north, center and south. In Rafah, two babies were killed when a house was struck, according to WAFA. The renewed fighting comes after a temporary truce between Hamas and Israel expired on Friday with no announcement of an extension.
12:00 am: Israel resumes Gaza fighting, putting an end to week-long truce
The Israeli military resumed fighting in the Gaza Strip after Hamas “violated the framework, did not meet its obligation to release all female hostages and fired rockets at Israel,” said a statement issued by the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It added, “amid the return to combat, we stress the government of Israel is committed to achieving the goals of the war — releasing our hostages, eliminating Hamas and ensuring that Gaza can never again threaten the people of Israel.” The Israeli army issued instructions across Israel ordering residents to avoid crowded events and to remain close to shelters.
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023
4:07 pm: Hamas hands over six Israeli hostages to the Red Cross
The Red Cross received six Israelis from Hamas who had been held in Gaza, Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari confirmed, noting that the freed hostages are now being transported to Egypt's Rafah crossing. Two other Israeli women were freed earlier in the day.
Thirty Palestinian prisoners, including 22 teenagers, are expected to be released by Israel tonight, AP reports.
10:30 am: Israel recalls ambassador to Spain
Israel recalled its ambassador to Spain for consultations after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he has “serious doubt” that Israel is complying with international humanitarian law during its campaign in Gaza, Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said in a post on X.
“Israel is acting and will continue to act in accordance with international law and we will continue with the war until the release of the hostages and elimination of Hamas in Gaza,” Cohen said. Earlier in the day, the Israeli Foreign Ministry had summoned the Spanish ambassador for a reprimand.
10:20 am: Two Israeli hostages reach Israel, more to be released
Two Israeli hostages held in Gaza — 21-year-old Israeli-French national Mia Shem and 40-year-old Amit Sosna — were handed over to the Red Cross Thursday and have reached Israeli territory, Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari posted on X.
Earlier reports claimed that eight more Israelis will be freed today, including two who hold Russian citizenship. Israel is set to free 30 Palestinian prisoners today in exchange, including some who hold Israeli citizenship.
7:00 am: Hamas to release 10 Israelis during 1-day truce extension, source says
A Hamas source told AFP that 10 Israeli hostages will be released from the Gaza Strip on Thursday as part of the one-day truce extension. The source said two of those set to be released also hold Russian citizenship. Hamas and Israel agreed to a last-minute extension of the temporary truce, during which 102 Israeli hostages and 210 Palestinian prisoners have been freed.
6:08 am: Egypt says negotiations ongoing for 2-day truce extension
Egyptian and Qatari mediators are currently discussing the possibility of extending the current truce by an additional two days, according to Egypt’s State Information Service. Its head Diaa Rashwan said the mediators are hoping to see the release of more prisoners and hostages, reach a long-term cease-fire and allow more aid into Gaza. “Egypt will continue to exert its utmost efforts to ensure the continued flow of humanitarian aid to the north and south of the Gaza Strip,” he added. The talks follow a last-minute one-day extension of the temporary truce in Gaza.
6:00 am: Blinken meets with Netanyahu, Israeli war cabinet
Secretary of State Antony Blinken met privately with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem before meeting with the Israeli war cabinet and later on Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. Blinken is on his fourth visit to Israel since Oct. 7 as the Biden administration works to prolong the cease-fire, secure the release of more hostages and further boost humanitarian assistance to Gaza.
4:37 am: UNIFIL says Israel responds to cross-border fire from Lebanon
Israeli forces have responded to cross-border fire from southern Lebanon, the UN peacekeeping mission told Reuters. Earlier, the Israeli army said it had downed a drone launched from Lebanon toward northern Israel. Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel have been engaged in intense cross-border fire since the Hamas-Israel war erupted. The exchange of fire has almost ceased after a temporary truce began in Gaza last Friday, with only sporadic incidents.
1:00 am: Three Israelis killed, six injured in shooting attack in Jerusalem
Three Israelis — a 73-year-old man, a 24-year-old woman and a third unidentified person — died after being shot by two Palestinians at a bus station in Jerusalem. Six other people were injured. Jerusalem's police commander said the two assailants, both residents of east Jerusalem, were killed at the scene. US Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew posted on X, "Abhorrent terrorist attack in Jerusalem this morning. We unequivocally condemn such brutal violence. My thoughts are with the families of the victims and I offer my sincere condolences to all those affected."
12:02 am: Israel, Hamas agree to one-day extension
The Qatari Foreign Ministry announced early Thursday that Israel and Hamas had agreed to a one-day extension to the pause in fighting in Gaza, just minutes before the truce was set to end. The extension will follow the terms of the previous agreement, whereby Hamas releases 10 Israeli hostages in exchange for 30 Palestinians held in Israeli jails.
Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023
7:55 pm: Democrats split on conditioning Israel aid ahead of war’s next phase
A growing number of Senate Democrats are voicing concern over how Israel is using US military aid to fight Hamas, underscoring a divide within the party over how the United States should respond to Israel’s deadly bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
Since Hamas' Oct. 7 attacks killed some 1,200 people in Israel, the White House has rushed military aid to its closest ally in the Middle East, including offensive munitions and replacement interceptors for its Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. Elizabeth Hagedorn reports.
5:30 pm: Blinken arrives in Israel
Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in Israel Wednesday on his fourth visit to the country since Oct. 7. He is expected to meet with Israeli leaders and participate in a meeting of the war cabinet.
At his meetings, Blinken is set to discuss extending the temporary truce between Israel and Hamas and expanding humanitarian aid to Gaza. After Israel, he will travel to the West Bank to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
On Wednesday evening, President Joe Biden welcomed the release of Israeli-American hostage Liat Atzili from Gaza, saying she was now safe and will soon be united with her children.
4:16 pm: 10 Israeli, 4 Thai hostages freed from Gaza, 31 Palestinian prisoners released
Ten Israelis and four Thai nationals kidnapped by Hamas on Oct. 7 and held hostage in the Gaza Strip were freed and handed over to Red Cross agents, the Israeli military said Wednesday night, adding that they would soon arrive on Israeli soil. Meanwhile, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry announced that 16 Palestinian minors and 14 women held in Israeli prisons were being released Wednesday night as part of the temporary Israel-Hamas truce negotiated by Qatar.
Earlier in the evening, two Israeli-Russian women were liberated from captivity in what Hamas called a "gesture" to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
3:00 pm: Two Palestinian children killed in Israeli raid in Jenin
Two Palestinian children were killed by the Israeli military in the West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday, the Palestinian Authority said, as violence continues to wreak havoc in the occupied Palestinian territory, leaving more than 240 killed since the Gaza war. Adam Lucente reports.
2:30 pm: Meet Israeli activist Maoz Inon, who lost parents in Hamas attack and now calls for peace
Moaz Inon has emerged as a champion for peace between Israelis and the Palestinians in the aftermath of the Hamas attack that killed his own parents on Oct. 7. Rina Bassist reports.
12:15 pm: 2 Israeli-Russian hostages released by Hamas
Israeli Russian Yelena Trupanov, 50, and her mother, Irena Tati, 73, were both released by Hamas and handed over to Red Cross agents in what the group called a “gesture” to Russian President Vladimir Putin. They should soon be transported to the Rafah crossing point in Egypt, and from there to Israel. Yelena and Irena were both kidnapped Oct. 7 from their home in Kibbutz Nir Oz. Yelena’s husband, Vitaly, was killed during the attack. Her son, Sasha, and his girlfriend, Sapir Cohen, are still hostages in Gaza. Ten Israeli women and children are expected to be released this evening in the framework of the Qatar-mediated Israel-Hamas deal.
12:00 pm: 12 Israeli hostages handed over to Red Cross, Israeli public broadcaster says
Another 12 Israeli hostages held in Gaza, including five children and seven women, were handed over from Hamas to Red Cross personnel, reports Israel’s public broadcaster Kan. According to the report, the hostages were handed over in the south of the Gaza Strip, east of the city of Khan Yunis. The hostages will now be transferred to Egypt's Rafah crossing point, where Israeli security officials await them.
Two of the women are reportedly Israelis with Russian citizenship who were not released as part of the Qatar-mediated deal between Israel and Hamas, but as a gesture by Hamas to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
11:30 am: Israel investigates Hamas claim that kidnapped Bibas family dead
Israel is investigating claims made by Hamas on Wednesday that members of the Bibas family — including 10-month-old Kfir, 4-year-old Ariel and their mother Shiri — who were abducted from their home in Kibbutz Nir Oz on Oct. 7, were killed in an Israeli airstrike. Kfir is the youngest hostage being held in the Gaza Strip. His father Yarden was also abducted by Hamas, but no information has emerged on his situation.
“Hamas is wholly responsible for the security of all hostages in the Gaza Strip,” said Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Daniel Hagari. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office released a statement saying the premier spoke with relatives of the Bibas family and informed them that the issue is being investigated by Israeli security agencies.
10:35 am: French envoy in Lebanon amid Israel-Hezbollah tension
French presidential envoy for Lebanon Jean-Yves Le Drian began a visit to Beirut on Wednesday as part of France’s efforts to fill the presidential void, now in its second year, and amid growing concerns of a second front erupting with Israel on Lebanon’s southern border.
Le Drian’s tour in Beirut coincides with heightened tensions in the south of the country, where Iran-backed Hezbollah has been engaged in heavy cross-border fire with Israeli forces since the Hamas-Israel war erupted Oct. 7, despite a lull since a temporary truce began in Gaza last Friday. Beatrice Farhat reports.
6:00 am: Erdogan slams Netanyahu as 'butcher of Gaza'
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “the butcher of Gaza,” adding in an address to members of his ruling party at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara that the Israeli premier has "committed one of the greatest atrocities of the last century in Gaza." Al-Monitor’s Ezgi Akin reports from Istanbul.
3:40 am: Israeli army fires at Lebanese military patrol in south Lebanon
Israeli soldiers stationed at al-Abad military site in northern Israel opened fire toward a military vehicle belonging to the Lebanese army in the town of Houla in south Lebanon, the official WAFA news agency reported. The Lebanese army was patrolling near a UNIFIL-controlled site. No injuries were reported. The Israel-Lebanon border had been the scene of intense cross-border fire between Israeli forces and Iran-backed Hezbollah since the Israel-Hamas war erupted Oct. 7 before a pause in the fighting was announced last Friday.
3:20 am: Hamas says willing to extend cease-fire by 4 days
A source close to Hamas told news agency AFP the organization is willing to extend the current temporary truce by an additional four days. No comment has yet been made on the Israeli side. The initial four-day truce has already been extended by two days. Hamas is expected to release 10 Israeli hostages Wednesday evening in exchange for the release of 30 Palestinians from Israeli jails. Senior Hamas official Mousa Abou Marzouk said the organization will also release Russian hostages out of appreciation for the positions espoused by President Vladimir Putin, reports Ynet.
2:00 am: Israeli navy strikes Gaza coast amid truce
Israeli warships shelled the coast of Khan Yunis, Al-Shati and Sheikh Radwan in the Gaza Strip, according to the official WAFA news agency. Several homes were hit but no casualties were reported. The attacks coincide with the sixth and last day of a truce between Hamas and Israel, during which hostages and Palestinian prisoners were released. Hamas is reportedly willing to extend the truce by an additional four days.