Tuesday July 23, 2024

178 Palestinians killed by Israeli attacks on Gaza after truce expires

Published : 01 Dec 2023, 20:43

Updated : 02 Dec 2023, 01:09

  DF News Desk
People flee from their homes after Israel resumed fighting Hamas in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, Dec. 1, 2023. Photo: Xinhua by Yasser Qudih.

A fragile humanitarian truce between Israel and Hamas collapsed on Friday, with the conflicting parties accusing each other of violating the ceasefire deal, reported Xinhua.

The Israeli army Arabic spokesperson Avichay Adraee said Israel launched massive airstrikes, targeting over 200 sites in Gaza after the ceasefire expired at 07:00 local time Friday (0500 GMT).

The Israeli attacks since Friday morning in Gaza resulted in 178 deaths and 589 injuries, the Hamas-run health ministry said late in the day.

Benny Gantz, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Wartime Cabinet, said in a video statement on Friday that Israel made plans during the past week to expand its offensive in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a press conference the army struck areas booby-trapped with explosives, tunnel shafts used by militants, launch posts, and operational command centers.

Hamas militants on Friday resumed launching rockets toward Israel, most of which were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome aerial defense system. No casualties have been reported, according to Israel's Magen David Adom rescue service.

The breakdown of the ceasefire also raises concerns for approximately 140 hostages still held captive in Gaza, after more than 100 were released during the truce.

Qatari-mediated efforts, coordinated with Egypt and the United States, continued throughout Friday to halt the fire and release more hostages. An Israeli military spokesperson told reporters that despite the renewed hostilities, Israel hopes "to at least complete the stage of releasing all women and children in the deal."

Fighting resumed also along the Israel-Lebanon border, causing three deaths and three injuries. Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Lebanese Shiite military group, said it attacked Israeli troops at the border to support the Palestinians in Gaza.

The IDF said "Fighter jets, helicopters, and artillery struck Hezbollah infrastructure in Lebanon" in response to the fire by Hezbollah.

The overall death toll in Gaza since the beginning of the conflict reached more than 15,000, while in Israel more than 1,200 have been killed, mostly during Hamas' surprise attack on Oct. 7 that triggered the conflict.