Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Israeli airstrikes kill 32 people in Gaza, says Hamas-controlled Health Ministry

The Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza claimed that Israeli airstrikes that resumed on Friday after the collapse of the seven-day ceasefire, has killed 32 people in the besieged enclave so far.

Earlier, the Ministry had said 14 people were killed, reports CNN.

A Ministry official said the majority of those killed were women and children.

In a separate statement, the Ministry of Interior confirmed that Israeli strikes had resumed across Gaza.

The Hamas-controlled Government Media Office has blamed the US and the international community for the resumption of fighting in Gaza after the week-long truce during which 240 Palestinians, 86 Israelis, and 24 foreign nationals were released.

The Office said that the US and the international community “bears responsibility for the crimes of the ‘Israeli’ occupation and the continuation of the brutal war against civilians, children and women in the Gaza Strip”, CNN reported.

Palestinians had a right to defend themselves “by all means” and to establish a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, it added.

The truce, which was only renewed at the last minute for the seventh day on Thursday, expired at 7 a.m. local time (about 10.30 a.m. IST) on Friday morning.

Thursday’s extension was the second of the initial four-day truce that commenced on Novermber 24.

It was extended for two more days on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that the military has resumed combat operations against the Hamas in Gaza, accusing the militant group of violating the truce agreement by firing towards the Jewish state, thus ending the seven-day ceasefire.

In a post on X, the IDF said: “Hamas violated the operational pause, and in addition, fired toward Israeli territory. The IDF has resumed combat against the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza.”

Shortly before the ceasefire was due to expire, sirens sounded in southern Israel, and the Israeli army said it shot down a rocket fired from Gaza, reports the BBC.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday blamed the Hamas of breaking the truce by refusing to release “all of the women hostages today and launched rockets at Israeli citizens”.

The restart in hostilities is likely to worsen the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, amid shortages of essential supplies.

Since Hamas launched its massive assault against Israel on October 7, more than 14,800 Palestinians have died.

Israel has reported over 1,200 casualties, including foreign nationals.



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