Gaza health ministry says 32 Palestinians martyred since truce expired

Thirty-two Palestinians have been martyred in Israeli strikes in Gaza since the truce expired on Friday morning, Ashraf Al-Qidra, the spokesman for Gaza’s health ministry said on Friday, according to the ministry’s Telegram account. The Israeli army issued a statement on Friday saying it had resumed fighting against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, claiming that the Palestinian resistance group violated the truce by firing into Israel territory, Al Jazeera reported. Al Jazeera journalists in the Gaza Strip said air raids had resumed and aircrafts were heard hovering overhead. There were also reports of Israeli air raids and artillery fire in Gaza City. Witnesses in Gaza City and the north of the Gaza Strip said heavy clashes were taking place between Palestinian fighting groups and Israeli troops. In the central of the Gaza Strip, Israeli tanks were also shelling near Nuseirat and Bureij refugee camps. A temporary truce between Israel and Hamas that was due to end at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) on Friday expired, with neither side announcing a deal to extend it, added Reuters. Israel, Hamas extend Gaza truce by one day in last-minute deal In the hour before the truce was set to end, Israel said it intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza and Hamas-affiliated media reported sounds of explosions and gunfire in the north of the Palestinian enclave. Further sirens warning of rockets sounded again in Israeli areas near Gaza just minutes before the deadline, the Israeli military said. There was no immediate comment from Hamas or claim of responsibility for the launches. The seven-day pause, which began on November 24 and was extended twice, had allowed for the exchange of dozens of hostages held in Gaza for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and facilitated the entry of humanitarian aid into the shattered enclave. Qatar and Egypt have been making intensive efforts to extend the truce following the exchange on Thursday of the latest batch of eight hostages and 30 Palestinian prisoners. Israel had previously set the release of 10 hostages a day as the minimum it would accept to pause its ground assault and bombardment. “We’re ready for all possibilities…. Without that, we’re going back to the combat,” Mark Regev, an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said on CNN ahead of the expiry of the truce. Israel has sworn to annihilate Hamas, which rules Gaza, in response to the October 7 raid the resistance group carried out in Israel’s territories against the latter’s continuous violation of Palestinian rights. Israel retaliated with intense bombardment and a ground invasion. Palestinian health authorities deemed reliable by the United Nations say more than 15,000 Gazans have been confirmed killed. Thursday’s releases brought the totals freed during the truce to 105 hostages and 240 Palestinian prisoners. With fewer Israeli women and children left in captivity, lengthening the truce could require setting new terms for Hamas to release Israeli men, including soldiers. The militant group could in turn seek to have Palestinian male prisoners handed over. So far, three Palestinian prisoners have been freed for each Israeli hostage.