Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The cease-fire in the Gaza Strip collapsed on Friday morning, with Israel and Hamas blaming each other for the breakdown of a truce that allowed the exchange of hostages and prisoners. The Israeli military said it had launched over 200 strikes since the resumption of fighting, some of which were witnessed by the country’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said in a statement that Israel was committed to freeing hostages, eliminating Hamas, and ensuring that Gaza will never again pose a threat to the residents of Israel. However, the halt in fighting had given Gaza’s 2.2 million people a brief reprieve from Israeli strikes. Since the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks, in which about 1,200 people in Israel were killed and about 240 hostages kidnapped, Israeli retaliatory military campaigns have killed more than 13,000 people according to Gaza health authorities. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said he deeply regretted the return to hostilities, stating “The return to hostilities only shows how important it is to have a true humanitarian cease-fire.” The Israeli military said on Friday that Ofir Tzarfati, who was captured during the attack on the Tribe of Nova rave in Re’im, had been found dead in Gaza.

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