An Israeli government spokesman today declared that Hamas ‘will now take the mother of all thumpings’ after a truce pausing fighting in the Gaza Strip expired and hostilities resumed.
‘Unfortunately, Hamas decided to terminate the pause by failing to release all the kidnapped women,’ government spokesman Eylon Levy told a briefing.
‘Having chosen to hold onto our women, Hamas will now take the mother of all thumpings.’
Israel this morning relaunched its brutal offensive on Hamas with full force, firing a barrage of missiles and sending warplanes screaming over Gaza as a week-long ceasefire expired.
The truce officially expired at 7am local time (5am GMT), but the IDF claimed that Hamas ‘violated’ the ceasefire early and launched rockets on Israel in the early hours, with footage shared to social media appearing to show attacks on the city of Sderot close to the border with Gaza.
Just under an hour before the ceasefire officially expired, the IDF claimed it had ‘intercepted’ another attack, adding that a ‘number’ of rockets had been fired by Hamas before the truce ended.
The Hamas-led health ministry in Gaza said 14 people had been killed in the first two hours after fighting resumed. Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said, there were ’14 dead and dozens injured, most of them women and children’.
Though the seven-day truce offered a welcome reprieve from bloodshed and saw Hamas release dozens of Israeli and foreign hostages, dozens more remain trapped inside Gaza as fighting resumed this morning.
Smoke rises above buildings during an Israeli strike on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on December 1, 2023, after battles resumed between Israel and the Hamas movement
Palestinians evacuate wounded in Israeli bombardment Rafah, Gaza Strip, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023
Dead Palestinian bodies are brought to the Nasser hospital after an Israeli attack at the end of the week-long ‘humanitarian pause’ in Khan Yunis, Gaza
Palestinians begin to migrate to areas in the central part of the city due to Israeli attacks following the end of the week-long humanitarian pause in Khan Yunis, Gaza on December 01, 2023
A Palestinian youth carries a badly wounded child as poeple rush out of a bombarded area in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on December 1, 2023
Residents and personnel conduct search and rescue works continue in the rubble of the destroyed building after the end of the week-long ‘humanitarian pause’ in Rafah, Gaza on December 01, 2023
This picture taken from southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke rising from buildings still after being hit by Israeli strikes in the battles between Israel and Hamas militants, on December 1, 2023
Israel resumed its bombing campaign of Gaza this morning as the week-long truce ended
It was reported that there were dead and wounded as a result of the Israeli army’s attack on a building in Rafah in south Gaza
Israeli forces take a Palestinian into custody as they intervene in Palestinians gathering at Wadi al-Joz neighborhood to perform Friday prayer in East Jerusalem on December 01, 2023
Despite the fresh violence, Qatari and Egyptian mediators are still negotiating a new extension of the seven-day truce.
In a statement this morning, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its ‘deep regret at the resumption of the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip following the end of the humanitarian pause’ but confirmed that negotiations between the two sides ‘are continuing with the aim of returning to a pause’.
Hamas last night released another round of hostages hours before the resumption of hostilities.
The freed hostages were named as Nili Margalit, 41, Sapir Cohen, 29, Shani Goren, 29, Ilana Gritzewsky, 30, Aisaha Ziadana, 17, and her brother Bilal, 18.
Ziadana’s father Yousef and eldest brother Hamza remain in captivity.
The IDF last night confirmed the six Israeli hostages were handed over by Hamas to the Red Cross.
An IDF statement said: ‘According to the information provided by the Red Cross, six Israeli abductees were transferred to them and are on their way to Israel.’
Those hostages were freed hours after Mia Schem, 21, and Amit Soussana, 40 were released by Hamas earlier Thursday.
This picture taken from southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke rising from buildings after being hit by Israeli strikes, as battles resume between Israel and Hamas militants, on December 1, 2023
Within minutes of announcing the resumption of the conflict, Israeli air raids struck the Palestinian city of Rahaf in the southern Gaza Strip
Palestinians inspect the quick destruction of a residential building in Rafah, as the city was shelled almost as soon as Israel announced the ceasefire had been ‘violated’
Another 30 Palestinians will be released in exchange for 10 hostages in Gaza, Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Majed Al Ansari, said.
Meanwhile, IDF officials said Hamas’ claims that ten-month-old Kfir Bibas, his brother Ariel and mother Shiri were killed in an airstrike remain unverified.
IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said: ‘Hamas’ claims about the Bibas family are still unverified. The published documentation is psychological terrorism.’
Within minutes of announcing the resumption of military action in Gaza, Israeli forces bombarded the northwest with rocket fire, and aircraft were seen circling the skies overhead, according to the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Interior in Gaza.
The dramatic re-escalation of the conflict saw strikes land in the southern Gaza regions of Khan Younis and Rafah.
Reports indicate tanks have been swiftly positioned to the area, and in a tweet half an hour after the relaunch, the IDF said it had deployed ‘warplanes’ focused on the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas ‘didn’t respect its obligation to release today all the abducted women and launched rockets toward the citizens of Israel.’
He insisted that because the conflict is now back on, the ‘government of Israel is obliged to accomplish the targets of the fighting’, which he claimed was to ‘release the hostages’ and ‘to liquidate Hamas.’
A handout picture provided by Israel’s Government Press Office (GPO), shows former Franco-Israeli hostage Mia Schem (L) with her mother and brother upon arrival at the Hatzerim air base following her release by the Palestinian Hamas group on November 30, 2023
Hostages released amid a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel sit inside a vehicle after a helicopter carried them to Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv district, Israel, December 1, 2023
A helicopter carrying hostages released amid a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel arrives at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv district, Israel, December 1, 2023
People react as a bus carrying released Palestinian prisoners from the Ofer Israeli military prison arrives in Ramallah, West Bank, 01 December 2023
A Palestinian prisoner hugs his mother as she reacts after he was released amid a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel, in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, December 1, 2023
Smoke rises over the Gaza Strip after being hit by Israeli air raids, seen from southern Israel which the IDF claimed had been struck by Hamas terrorists before the ceasefire was over
An IDF soldier patrols a combat area as the ceasefire with Gaza came to a close
A house left in ruins after an attack by Hamas militants on a kibbutz near the border with Gaza on October 10
Israeli soldiers are seen during a raid in the West Bank city of Jenin, on Nov. 29, 2023
Hours before the ceasefire officially ended at 7am Friday morning in the war-torn region, footage purported to show rocket sirens sounding near the Israel-Palestine border for the first time in a week.
According to footage posted on social media by a reporter from Yeshiva World News, a Jewish outlet, sirens could be heard in Sderot followed by sounds of a large explosion.
Further surveillance video also appeared to show a rocket launch towards Sderot intercepted by the Iron Dome. It is unclear if reports of a blast in Sderot are the same incident the Israeli military claimed it had ‘intercepted.’
Reports of Telegram communications from the Shehab News Agency, considered tied to Hamas, had also claimed gunfire and several explosions struck northern Gaza earlier on Friday.
During the week-long truce, Hamas and other militants in Gaza released more than 100 hostages, most of them Israelis, in return for 240 Palestinians freed from prisons in Israel.
Virtually all of those freed were women and children, but the fact that few such hostages remained in Gaza complicated reaching a deal for a further extension.
Hamas, a militant group that has ruled Gaza for 16 years, had also been expected to set a higher price for the remaining hostages, especially Israeli soldiers. About 140 hostages remain in Gaza, with more than 100 having been freed as part of the truce.
Mediators Qatar and Egypt had sought to prolong the truce by another two days.
The deal ended after a week and multiple extensions, despite international pressure for the truce to be upheld as long as possible.
Qatar’s Foreign Ministry statement said: ‘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, and in this context calls on the international community to move quickly to stop the violence.’
Weeks of Israeli bombardment and a ground campaign have left more than three-quarters of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million uprooted, leading to a humanitarian crisis.
More than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed – roughly two-thirds of them women and minors – according to the health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza, which does not differentiate between civilians and combatants.
Some 1,200 Israelis have been killed, mostly during Hamas’ deadly October 7 attack on Israel that triggered the war.