Hatem Ali Associated Press Palestinian evacuates child after Israeli bombing in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip.
Adel Zaanoun – Agence France-Presse and Delphine Matthieussent – Agence France-Presse respectively in the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem
- Middle East
The truce in the Gaza Strip expired on Friday, with the Israeli army resuming air raids and artillery fire and Palestinian fighters resuming firing rockets towards Israel.
From the first explosions, thousands of Residents have returned to hospitals and schools that have become makeshift camps for the displaced, noted AFP journalists in the Gaza Strip.
The Islamist movement's Ministry of Health has report of 32 dead, including children, in different Israeli bombings on the Gaza Strip, from which thick clouds of grayish smoke rose.
During the night, however, intense negotiations took place for a new renewal of the truce in force since November 24 between Israel and Hamas in the small Palestinian territory, in the war triggered by an unprecedented attack by the Palestinian movement in Israel on October 7.
And in Tel Aviv, the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken called for an extension of this truce on Thursday evening, while anticipating a resumption of fighting by calling on Israel to “minimize the deaths of innocent Palestinians”.
But on Friday morning, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Hamas of “violating the agreement” and “firing rockets” at Israel.
“The Israeli government is determined to achieve the goals of the war: free the hostages, eliminate Hamas and ensure that Gaza never again poses a threat to the people of Israel,” the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.
In response, Ezzat el-Richq, a leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another armed movement in Gaza, asserted that the Israeli army “will not achieve by resuming the war” the objectives that it “did not achieve before truce.”
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“Map of areas to be evacuated”
Early Friday, the Israeli army began sending messages to the phones of residents in parts of Gaza City, as well as villages along the border with Israel in the south, urging them to “leave immediately” because it would carry out “harsh military attacks.”
On its website, the army also published in Arabic a “map of areas to be evacuated” from the Gaza Strip, in order to allow residents of the territory to flee certain specific areas for their safety.
A sign of a truce that was becoming more and more precarious, Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel in particular, claimed responsibility for a deadly attack Thursday in Jerusalem which cost the lives of four Israelis.
Hamas nevertheless said it was ready to extend the truce in the Gaza Strip, after Antony Blinken's call for a further extension of the pause in fighting, which notably allowed the release of dozens of Palestinian hostages and detainees and the entry of humanitarian aid into the besieged and devastated Palestinian territory.
Thursday evening, eight Israeli hostages were released by Hamas, and thirty Palestinian prisoners by Israel, as part of a truce agreement that entered into force last Friday.
This agreement, negotiated by Qatar, Egypt and the United States, which guaranteed a “temporary truce” in Gaza, expired at 5:00 GMT (midnight EST), failing to be extended, as had been the case in recent days.
Israel estimates that around 240 people were taken hostage and taken to the Gaza Strip during the bloody attack by Hamas in Israel on October 7. This attack left 1,200 dead, mostly civilians, according to the authorities.
In retaliation for this attack, Israel promised to “annihilate” Hamas, which took power in 2007 in the Strip. of Gaza, shelling the Palestinian territory and launching a ground offensive on October 27.
According to the Hamas government, more than 15,000 people, including at least 6,150 children and young people under the age of 18, have died in Israeli strikes since October 7.
Friday morning, a source informed of the negotiations told AFP that negotiations on the truce with the Qatari and Egyptian mediators are continuing despite the resumption of hostilities.
The resumption of fighting has plunged the Gaza Strip back into a “nightmare”, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Robert Mardini, regretted to AFP on Friday.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he “deeply regrets” the resumption of hostilities, hoping that it is still “possible to renew the pause.”
Qatar has also urged the international community to act quickly, affirming that the resumption of bombings “exacerbates the humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza, with France for its part deeming a renewal of the truce “indispensable”.
The pause in hostilities had offered respite to a besieged population which experienced – before the seven-day truce – seven weeks of devastating Israeli bombings.
It also allowed the release of 80 Israeli hostages, women and children, and 240 Palestinian prisoners, also women and minors.
Around twenty foreigners or dual nationals, mostly Thais working in Israel, were also released outside the framework of the 'agreement.
“Even more fierce”
The truce agreement had at the same time made it possible to increase the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, where, according to the UN, all 2.4 million inhabitants are food insecure.
“No aid trucks have entered since the resumption of Israeli bombing, but preparations are underway for the evacuation of several wounded and the entry into Gaza of Gazans who were stranded abroad,” Waël Abou Omar, head of communications at the Rafah terminal, a crossing point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, told AFP.
The needs are immense in the territory already subject to an Israeli blockade since 2007 and placed since October 9 under total siege by Israel.
On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said report of 111,000 cases of acute respiratory infection and 36,000 cases of diarrhea in children under the age of five recorded among the displaced since the start of the war.
According to the UN, 1, 7 million people were displaced by the war, with more than half of their homes damaged or destroyed.
Several hundred thousand civilians fled the north of the small territory, devastated by the fighting, to seek refuge in the south.
But in Khan Younes, in the south of the Gaza Strip, where at least twelve people were killed Friday morning according to the Hamas government, Anas Abou Dagga lamented that “the war has resumed, even more ferocious.”
“Our house was destroyed, we have seven injured relatives” , this Gazan, who rushed to the city's Nasser hospital, told AFPTV.
In Israel, the authorities immediately reinstated the ban on schools opening without shelter that meets standards.< /p>
In Tel Aviv, residents interviewed by AFP considered the resumption of hostilities inevitable.
“As long as Hamas is there, we must continue to fight,” he said. said Ofir Dardary, 39.
“We believe in peaceful ways, in living together, but right now […] we have no choice but to fight, unfortunately” .