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Israel recommences fighting in Gaza Strip after ceasefire with Hamas comes to an end

by Michael Stark

**Israeli Military Resumes Combat Operations in Gaza Strip Amidst Cease-Fire Extension Negotiations**

*Truce Expires*

Israel’s military has announced the resumption of combat operations in the Gaza Strip following the expiration of a temporary truce with Hamas. The cease-fire, which began a week ago on November 24, initially lasted for four days and was then extended with the assistance of Qatar and Egypt.

**Truce Expired Due to Hamas**

The truce was set to expire at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) on Friday, and Israel has blamed Hamas for breaking the cease-fire. Despite the week-long truce, Hamas and other militants in Gaza managed to release more than 100 hostages, mostly Israelis, in exchange for the freedom of 240 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel. However, the negotiations for a further extension were complicated by the fact that only a few hostages remained in Gaza, most of whom were women and children.

**Extension Negotiations and Remaining Hostages**

The remaining hostages in Gaza, about 140 in total, including Israeli soldiers, were expected to be the focal point of the negotiations for the truce extension. With over 100 hostages already freed as part of the truce, the mediators, including Qatar and Egypt, sought to prolong the ceasefire by an additional two days.

**Hamas’ Strategy and Negotiations**

As the militant group that has ruled Gaza for 16 years, Hamas was expected to demand a higher price for the release of the remaining hostages. The negotiations were further complicated due to the significant progress made during the initial truce, with the release of a significant number of hostages and discussions revolving around the remaining few.

**Continued Tensions**

The resumption of combat operations by the Israeli military signals a continuation of the longstanding tensions between Israel and the Hamas movement. The ongoing conflict has brought about significant challenges and negotiations as both sides seek to secure the release of hostages and maintain stability in the region.

As the negotiations for ceast-fire extension continue, the role of mediators, such as Qatar and Egypt, remains crucial in facilitating communication and agreement between Israel and the Hamas movement. The fate of the remaining hostages and the potential for a prolonged truce hang in the balance as both sides navigate the complexities of the situation in the Gaza Strip.

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