Gaza Under Fire Again as Peace Talks Collapse

The temporary truce between Israel and Hamas has come to an abrupt end.

by Faruk Imamovic
Gaza Under Fire Again as Peace Talks Collapse
© Getty Images News/Alexi J. Rosenfeld

The temporary truce between Israel and Hamas has come to an abrupt end. Israel has resumed its military campaign in Gaza, citing Hamas's breach of the truce by firing rockets into Israeli territory. This escalation has led to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) expanding their operations, particularly in the southern parts of Gaza.

The resumption of hostilities has prompted global leaders to call for the protection of civilians amidst the intensifying conflict. The recent Israeli strikes have led to the deaths of dozens of Palestinians, as reported by the Hamas-run Ministry of Health.

Israel argues that Hamas is strategically using civilian infrastructure for military purposes, which includes hospitals and children's playgrounds, thus making these sites legitimate targets. The humanitarian impact of these strikes has raised concerns worldwide.

Negotiations and Impacts

Efforts to revive the truce are ongoing, though the prospects remain uncertain. The central issue appears to be the release of women and children hostages. According to sources familiar with the talks, Israel is skeptical of Hamas's claim that it has no more women and children to release.

The breakdown in negotiations centers around Hamas's difficulty in locating 10 women and children hostages, a condition set by Israel to extend the truce. In terms of Israeli operations, the military has confirmed striking over 200 targets in Gaza since the resumption of their campaign.

This includes an expansion into southern parts of the enclave. The IDF has also employed a new strategy to mitigate civilian casualties, utilizing an interactive map dividing Gaza into evacuation zones. Despite these efforts, the telecommunications and electrical infrastructure in Gaza have been severely impacted, complicating the evacuation process.

The human toll of this renewed conflict is significant. The Ministry of Health in Gaza reports 178 deaths and hundreds injured since the resumption of Israeli military operations. Meanwhile, the global community, including the United States, has exerted pressure on Israel to protect Palestinian civilians.

In a broader context, the Palestinian Prisoner Society reports that over 260 Palestinians have been detained by Israeli forces in the West Bank during the period of the now-expired truce. This figure has been subject to revisions.

Finally, Israeli officials are facing scrutiny over their prior knowledge of Hamas's plans. A New York Times report reveals that Israeli intelligence had obtained a document describing Hamas’s battle plan more than a year before its execution, raising questions about the preparedness and response of Israeli military and intelligence agencies.