Israel resumed fighting in Gaza minutes after a temporary cease-fire deal ended, and accused Hamas of having violated the truce. Hamas blames Israel, saying it declined offers to free more hostages. Mediator Qatar said Friday that efforts are ongoing to renew an Israel-Hamas cease-fire and expressed “deep regret” over the resumption of Israeli bombardments.
Over 100 hostages were freed during the seven-day truce, most of whom appear physically well but shaken. Israel says 115 adult men, 20 women and two children are still held hostage. The 240 Palestinians released under the cease-fire were mostly teenagers accused of throwing stones and firebombs during confrontations with Israeli forces.
The deal that began Nov. 24 ended after a week and multiple extensions, despite international pressure for the truce to continue as long as possible. Weeks of Israeli bombardment and a ground campaign have left more than three-quarters of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents uprooted, leading to a humanitarian crisis.
More than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed — roughly two-thirds of them women and minors — according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza, which does not differentiate between civilians and combatants. Some 1,200 Israelis have been killed, mostly during Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel that triggered the war.
Here’s what’s happening in the war:
9:48 a.m. ET.
Hamas official says it’s open to swapping more hostages for prisoners
BEIRUT — A senior Hamas official said Friday that his group is open to swapping more Israeli hostages for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel, but rebuffed a demand to free female Israeli soldiers.
Osama Hamdan spoke to The Associated Press hours after negotiators failed Friday to extend a weeklong Israel-Hamas truce, which had been accompanied by daily hostages-for-prisoners swaps. Most of the hostages freed were women and children.
Israel said Friday that 137 hostages remain in captivity, including 115 men, 20 women and two children. Of this group, 126 are Israeli and 11 are foreign nationals. Ten of the remaining hostages are 75 and older, it said.
After the expiration of the truce Friday morning, Israel and Hamas resumed fighting amid mutual accusations that the other side did not attempt to negotiate an extension of the cease-fire in good faith.
Hamdan said several ideas for hostage releases were put forward by mediators, including Qatar, and that Hamas accepted three of them. He said the “Israeli side said no, no, no every time.”
Hamdan said Israeli officials put forward a list of 10 names of women they wanted released but that Hamas rejected them, saying they are female soldiers. Hamdan said the women were captured in military posts — apparently referring to the female spotters deployed near the border with Gaza.
The Hamas official said Israel’s military would not be able to release any of the hostages by force, adding that the only way to win their freedom is through negotiations. Israel has dismissed such claims, saying only military pressure will bring about the release of more hostages.
Qatar, a key mediator alongside Egypt, has said it will continue efforts to renew a cease-fire. Hamdan said Hamas is ready to respond to any serious offer.
Israel says Hamas is still holding 137 hostages
JERUSALEM — Israel says that 137 hostages are still being held in the Gaza Strip after 110 returned home, most of them during a weeklong cease-fire when they were swapped for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.
Among those still in captivity after the end of the truce Friday are 115 men, 20 women and two children, government spokesperson Eylon Levy said. Ten of the hostages are 75 and older, he said. The majority, or 126, are Israeli and 11 are foreign nationals, including eight from Thailand.
Levy listed the youngest hostage, 10-month-old Kfir Bibas, his 4-year-old brother Ariel and their mother Shiri as among the hostages. The military has said it is investigating a Hamas claim that the boys and their mother were killed in an Israeli airstrike.
Hamas and other militant groups seized more than 240 hostages in their deadly Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel in which more than 1,200 people were killed.
Levy said seven people are still missing from the initial attack.
UN human rights chief calls resumption of fighting ‘catastrophic’
The United Nations’ human rights chief has described the resumption of fighting in Gaza as “catastrophic” and pressed for all participants and countries with influence to redouble efforts to ensure a cease-fire.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said in a statement issued in Geneva on Friday that the situation in Gaza “is beyond crisis point” as more Palestinians risk being killed or “forcibly displaced to already severely overcrowded and unsanitary parts of Gaza.”
He said “recent comments by Israeli political and military leaders indicating that they are planning to expand and intensify the military offensive are very troubling.”
Türk reminded all parties to the conflict of “their obligation to allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief for civilians in need, throughout Gaza.”
Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes on different parts of the Gaza Strip on Friday after a temporary truce expired.
U.S. is preparing travel bans on Jewish settlers involved in attacks, official says
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The Biden administration is preparing to impose travel bans on extremist Jewish settlers implicated in a rash of attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, a senior U.S. official said Friday.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his war Cabinet on Thursday that the administration is looking for Israel to hold settlers accountable for such attacks but would not wait to act itself, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private diplomatic talks.
Visa bans against an as-yet undetermined number of settlers could be announced as early as next week, the official said. The official spoke to reporters accompanying Blinken on his latest trip to the Middle East as he flew from Tel Aviv to Dubai.
President Joe Biden has already raised the possibility of such sanctions but the official’s comments were the first to describe them as possibly imminent.
The official said Blinken’s message to Netanyahu was intended to demonstrate the seriousness with which the U.S. views the surge in settler violence after the deadly Oct. 7 Hamas attacks in Israel that sparked the war in Gaza.
Blinken alluded to the concern at a news conference on Thursday after his meetings in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
“We’re looking to the Israeli government to take some additional steps to really put a stop to this. And at the same time, we’re considering our own steps,” he said.
Earlier this year, the U.S. approved Israel’s application to join the Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens of member countries visa-free entry into the United States for up to 90 days. The entry had initially been due to take effect on Thursday but was sped up due to the war.
Settlers affected by the ban would be excluded from the program and would have any current U.S. visa canceled and future applications rejected.
Israel is holding more than 2,800 Palestinians without charges, group says
JERUSALEM — Israel is holding more than 2,800 Palestinians without charges or trial in so-called administrative detention, the highest number in over three decades, an Israeli human rights group said Friday.
The number of administrative detainees increased by 800 in just a month and they now make up close to 40% of all Palestinians held by Israel, said HaMoked, which gets the statistics from the Israel Prison Service.
Israeli authorities often keep the allegations against the detainees secret, preventing them from mounting an informed defense.
Rights groups say the practice amounts to a serious violation of due process. The detentions can range from a few months to years, and authorities often extend them for unknown reasons.
Israel says administrative detention is an important tool in its arsenal to prevent attacks by Palestinian militants, and that the allegations must be kept secret to protect the safety of its sources.
Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war two months ago, the number of administrative detainees has more than doubled, as near-nightly raids into Palestinian communities across the occupied West Bank and Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem bring in hundreds of Palestinians on suspicion of association with militant groups or incitement on social media.
The total number of Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli prisons is now 7,677, up roughly 700 in one month, HaMoked said. Over the past week, 240 Palestinian women and minors were released by Israel as part of a truce deal with Hamas, which in turn freed more than 100 hostages it held in Gaza.
The Israel-Hamas war was triggered by a deadly Oct. 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel.
Some Israelis express support for resumption of fighting
TEL AVIV, Israel — Israelis woke up to the news that the country’s war against Hamas had resumed after a weeklong truce, with some expressing support for the return of air strikes.
“It was obvious that we’ll be back at war. Hamas is not for peace,” said Dana Mizrahi, who was in a central Tel Aviv square on Friday to see an installation aimed at raising awareness about children kept hostage by Hamas. “They do not want to co-exist. They want for us to be eliminated. Sorry, it’s not going to happen. Ever,” she said.
Tel Aviv resident Hilla Ofman also backed what the authorities say is a war to root out Gaza’s militant rulers, Hamas.
“Our government needs to take care of our safety. And they need to do what they need to do,” Ofman said. “We all want a cease-fire. We all want peace. We all want quiet. But not at the expense of our lives. And that’s what everybody should know.”
WHO says it’s extremely concerned about resumption of violence
The World Health Organization is warning that the Gaza Strip cannot afford to lose any more hospital capacity and says it’s very worried about disease outbreaks as fighting resumes.
Dr. Rik Peeperkorn, WHO’s representative for the Palestinian territories, told a U.N. briefing on Friday that 18 out of 36 hospitals in Gaza are “partially functional,” some of them barely functioning. He said total bed capacity has gone from 3,500 before the war to 1,500 and those hospitals that are operating are “extremely overwhelmed.”
“Gaza’s health system has been crippled by the ongoing hostilities, and I want to stress that it cannot afford to lose any more hospitals or hospital beds -– and we are extremely concerned about the resumption of violence,” Peeperkorn said.
He said WHO is also very concerned about disease outbreaks, with massive overcrowding in shelters and large numbers of respiratory infections and diarrhea cases, among other ailments.
Pakistan denounces resumption of Israeli strikes on Gaza
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan has denounced the resumption of Israeli strikes on Gaza, demanding a lasting cease-fire so that humanitarian aid can reach the people.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch made the comments at a weekly news conference on Friday.
She said the temporary pause that ended Friday had offered a crucial respite to the people of Gaza.
“Pakistan reiterates its call for a durable and sustained cease-fire to enable supply of extensive and robust humanitarian assistance; urgent medical aid to the injured; and shelter to those who have been displaced as a result of the indiscriminate and inhumane bombing campaign by Israeli occupation forces,” she said.
Baloch said Pakistan supports a comprehensive investigation into “attacks against medical facilities, schools, mosques, churches, residential buildings and water facilities and urges full accountability for the war crimes being perpetrated in occupied Palestine.”
Israel publishes a numbered evacuation map of the Gaza strip
JERUSALEM — The Israeli military released a map Friday carving up the Gaza Strip into hundreds of numbered parcels and asked residents to familiarize themselves with the number related to their location in case of an eventual evacuation.
The parcels were crudely drawn, with lines cutting across streets in some cases. The map, which Israel said would eventually be interactive, was published hours after Israel-Hamas fighting resumed, ending a weeklong truce that had been negotiated by Qatar, Egypt and the United States.
Before the truce, the main combat zone was in northern Gaza, the focus of Israeli ground forces. Now, the Israeli military’s attention appears to have shifted to southern Gaza, packed with some 2 million Palestinians, including hundreds of thousands who fled the north.
It was not clear how Palestinians would be updated on their designated parcel numbers and calls for evacuation, nor where residents are meant to evacuate to, since homes and shelters in the south have been overflowing with those who fled the north.
Earlier Friday, the military dropped leaflets over an area east of the city of Khan Younis, in which residents were urged to leave for their safety. The leaflet declared Khan Younis, in the southern half of Gaza, a “dangerous battle zone.”
Qatar laments Israeli bombing of Gaza strip hours after truce expired
DOHA, Qatar — Mediator Qatar said Friday that efforts are ongoing to renew an Israel-Hamas truce and expressed “deep regret” over the resumption of Israeli bombardments after a weeklong cease-fire expired earlier in the day.
Israel and Hamas have traded blame, with each saying the other side violated the terms of the truce. Qatar, which has served as mediator along with Egypt, appeared to be singling out Israel’s role in the resumption of violence.
Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said that “the continued bombing of the Gaza Strip in the first hours after the end of the pause complicates mediation efforts and exacerbates the humanitarian catastrophe” in the territory. It urged the international community to “move quickly to stop the violence.”
Germany’s foreign minister calls for a renewed cease-fire
BERLIN — Germany’s foreign minister is pushing for a renewal of the collapsed cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
The weeklong truce expired on Friday and the war resumed with full force.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in a statement that “in these minutes, we must do everything so that the humanitarian cease-fire is continued — for the remaining hostages who have been hoping for release in dark tunnels for weeks, and for the suffering people in Gaza, who urgently need more humanitarian aid.”
Hamas says Israel rejected offers for more hostage releases
DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — The militant Palestinian group Hamas says Israel is to blame for the violence after it rejected all the offers put forward by Hamas throughout the night to release more hostages and bodies.
Hamas said in a statement that it offered to release older people as well as the bodies of hostages, including those of the Bibas family. It said that Hamas also offered to release Yarden Bibas, whose wife and two small children Hamas claimed were killed previously in Israeli airstrikes, so that he can attend their funeral. Hamas also offered to release two Israeli hostages.
“The occupation refused to accept all these offers because it had plans to resume the criminal aggression,” Hamas said. It blasted the United States and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, saying the U.S. approved the new plan that has killed dozens on Friday morning alone.
Hamas said its fighters and those of other factions will resume their military activities and “will break the will of the defeated occupation army.”
Palestinians say Israel is warning them to leave parts of southern Gaza
DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — Israel dropped leaflets over parts of southern Gaza urging people to leave homes east of the town of Khan Younis, residents said Friday. The leaflets also warned that Khan Younis was now a “dangerous battle zone.”
The leaflets signaled that Israel was preparing to widen its offensive, which had so far focused largely on the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
Hundreds of thousands of people fled northern Gaza earlier in the war, with many taking shelter in Khan Younis and other cities in the south.
Israel strikes the Gaza strip after truce expires
DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes on different parts of the Gaza Strip after a temporary truce expired Friday, the Interior Ministry in the Hamas-run territory said.
Airstrikes hit southern Gaza, including the community of Abassan east of the town of Khan Younis, the ministry said. Another strike hit a home northwest of Gaza City.
Live footage from the Gaza Strip showed black smoke billowing from the territory.
Israel’s military said it had resumed combat operations in Gaza minutes after a temporary truce with Hamas expired at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) Friday. Israel accused Hamas of having violated the truce.
The halt in fighting began Nov. 24. It initially lasted four days, and then was extended for several days with the help of Qatar and fellow mediator Egypt.