It’s Saturday morning in Gaza. That’s how it is
Israel on Friday resumed its military campaign aimed at ending Hamas, saying the group broke a seven-day ceasefire by firing rockets into Israeli territory. Israel Defense Forces also expanded its operations into the southern part of the enclave, prompting world leaders to call for civilians to be protected.
Dozens of Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes on Friday, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. Israel says Hamas is infiltrating civilian infrastructure, such as hospitals and sports fields, that it uses for military purposes.
On Friday night, negotiators were still trying to renew the ceasefire. Hamas has said it will not release women and children yet, but Israel does not believe that, according to sources familiar with the talks.
Here’s what you need to know:
What happened to the ceasefire: Hamas said on Thursday it was having trouble finding the 10 hostages, women and children – a condition it insisted Israel must meet – to extend the ceasefire. Hamas has accused Israel of “rejecting all offers” to extend the deal. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office rejected the request. According to the previous agreement, Hamas would release 10 women and children as hostages for each day of the ceasefire, and three Palestinians would be released from Israeli prisons for every hostage taken.
Negotiating Status: Negotiating parties Israel and Hamas, in consultation with Qatar, the United States and Egypt, are continuing to discuss the release of the remaining female hostages, a source said. The Israel Defense Forces said a total of 136 hostages were still in Gaza, 17 of whom were women and children. According to three sources familiar with the talks, there is an understanding that a list of Hamas captives deemed accepted by Israel will return to the ceasefire. Once the last group of women is freed, the parameters of negotiations will shift to other hostages: civilian men and military reservists, two of the sources said.
Israeli operations expand: The Israeli military said it had “hit terrorist targets” in Gaza, including in southern areas where it had earlier told civilians to take shelter. More than 200 targets have been hit since 7 am local time (Midnight Miami).
Evacuation Warnings: The Israel Defense Forces has released a new interactive map that divides Gaza into numbered districts and “evacuation zones” to minimize casualties when attacks are carried out on civilian areas. Earlier on Friday, the IDF dropped leaflets in areas of southern Gaza that included a QR code linking to a map. However, Gaza’s electrical and telecommunications infrastructure has been severely damaged in weeks of bombing, leaving many residents without reliable access to the Internet and electricity.
Consequences of Israeli attacks: A spokesman for the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said 178 people had been killed and hundreds wounded since Israel resumed military operations. John Kirby, a spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, declined to say whether the U.S. had seen any deliberate attacks by Israel since the fighting resumed. He declined to comment on the number of deaths indicated by the ministry.
World reaction: Hours before the latest fighting broke out, the US intensified its pressure on Israel to protect Palestinian civilians. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who boarded his plane to leave Israel minutes after the IDF announced the resumption of hostilities, announced that he had already seen Israel “take immediate action today” to protect civilians. Jordan condemned the “resumption of Israeli occupation of Gaza” and called for an immediate ceasefire.
Palestinian prisoners: According to the Palestinian Prisoners Association, more than 260 Palestinians have been detained by Israeli forces in the West Bank during the now-expired ceasefire. The group has repeatedly reviewed the number of arrests this week. The IDF has publicly acknowledged through press releases that at least 100 people were arrested during the ceasefire.
What Israel knew about the October 7 attack: Israeli officials obtained a document detailing Hamas’s battle plan more than a year before the attack, the New York Times reported Thursday, citing documents, emails and interviews. The roughly 40-page document, which was not dated, but described “point by point” the type of deadly infiltration that Hamas is carrying out. Israeli military and intelligence officials rejected the plan, saying it would be too difficult for Hamas to implement, according to the Times.
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