This image taken from the Israeli side of the Gaza Strip border shows an explosion in the northern part of the Palestinian enclave during an Israeli attack on November 22, 2023, amid ongoing fighting between Israel and the Hamas movement.

John Macdougall | Afp | Getty Images

Israeli bombs struck the Gaza Strip on Friday morning after a week-long ceasefire with Hamas expired and Israeli forces accused the Palestinian militant group of violating the terms of their agreement.

“After sirens sounded in communities near Gaza, the IDF air defense system successfully intercepted a launch from Gaza,” said a post on the Israel Defense Forces’ official X account at 6:18 a.m. local time.

An hour later, an update was posted saying: “Hamas violated the pause in operations and also fired into Israeli territory. The IDF has resumed the fight against the terrorist organization Hamas in Gaza.”

The ceasefire itself expired at 7 a.m. local time on Friday. It came into force on November 24 and was originally scheduled to last four days, but was extended for another three days as Qatari and Egyptian negotiators worked to further extend the pause in fighting. This allowed many more Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners to be exchanged and more humanitarian aid to reach the battered Gaza Strip.

In total, 110 of the hostages captured by Hamas in Gaza on October 7 had been released as of Friday. They include 78 Israeli and dual nationals, mostly women and children, who were released in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons. Under this agreement, three Palestinian prisoners were exchanged for each Israeli hostage.

Israel’s war with Hamas, which began on October 7, is the bloodiest in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has killed more than 14,500 people in the besieged Gaza Strip, according to health authorities there.

The air and land offensive by Israeli forces was launched in retaliation for a Hamas terrorist attack in southern Israel that killed about 1,200 people and took about 240 more hostage in the Gaza Strip. According to the Israeli authorities, there are still around 150 hostages there.

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