Israeli strikes kill 240 people in Gaza after cease-fire ends - GulfToday

Israeli strikes kill 240 people in Gaza after cease-fire ends


This picture shows smoke rising from buildings after being hit by Israeli strikes on Friday. AFP

The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip said Saturday that 240 people had been killed in the Palestinian territory since a pause in the fighting expired on Friday.

Another 650 people had been injured in "hundreds of air strikes, artillery and navy bombardments, everywhere in the Gaza Strip", it said in a statement, adding that Israeli forces had "particularly targeted Khan Yunis, where dozens of houses were destroyed with their inhabitants inside".

Israel said it struck more than 200 Hamas targets. Hamas fighters resumed firing rockets into Israel, and fighting broke out between Israel and Hezbollah operating along Israel's northern border with Lebanon.

Cease-fire mediator Qatar said efforts are ongoing to renew the truce, which saw Israel pause most military activity in Gaza and release 300 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Palestinian group Hamas freeing over 100 hostages held in Gaza.

Weeks of Israeli bombardment and a ground campaign have left homeless more than three-quarters of Gaza's 2.3 million residents, causing a humanitarian crisis as they face widespread shortages of food, water and other supplies. No trucks carrying aid entered Gaza from Egypt on Friday, Palestinians authorities said.

Up until the truce began, 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. The toll is likely much higher. Some 1,200 Israelis were killed, mostly during Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel that triggered the war.

Palestinian medics search for survivors in the rubble of a building following Israeli airstrike in Rafah on Friday. AFP

Both sides blamed each other for breaking the truce, with Israel claiming that Hamas had tried to fire a rocket before it ended and that it failed to produce a list of further hostages for release.

"What we're doing now is striking Hamas military targets all over the Gaza Strip," Israel Defense Forces spokesman Jonathan Conricus told reporters on Saturday.

As hostilities resumed, Hamas's armed wing received "the order to resume combat" and to "defend the Gaza Strip", according to a source close to the group who asked not to be named because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

International leaders and humanitarian groups condemned the return to fighting.


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