**A Week-Long Truce Ends**
Israel’s military has resumed combat operations in the Gaza Strip, following the expiration of a temporary truce with Hamas on Friday. The halt in fighting had begun a week ago and was extended with the help of Qatar and Egypt.
*Temporary Truce Expires*
The truce came to an end at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) on Friday, after having initially lasted for four days. The extension was made possible through the mediation of Qatar and Egypt, but the ceasefire was short-lived.
*Prisoner Swap During Truce*
During the week-long truce, Hamas and other militants in Gaza released over 100 hostages, most of whom were Israelis, in exchange for 240 Palestinians freed from prisons in Israel. The majority of those freed were women and children. However, the remaining hostages in Gaza, primarily Israeli soldiers, complicated the negotiation for an extension of the truce.
*Remaining Hostages and Mediation Efforts*
About 140 hostages are still being held in Gaza, with more than 100 having been liberated as part of the truce. Mediators from Qatar and Egypt played a crucial role in trying to extend the truce for an additional two days, but ultimately, the ceasefire came to an end.
*Resumption of Combat Operations*
Israel’s military blamed Hamas for breaking the ceasefire and decided to resume combat operations in the Gaza Strip shortly after the truce expired. The ongoing battles between Israel and the Hamas movement continue to escalate, with the two sides locked in a bitter conflict.
The tensions remain high, and the future of potential truce negotiations is uncertain. It is evident that the situation in the Gaza Strip is complex and that finding a lasting resolution will require substantial international mediation and diplomatic efforts.
As Israel continues its military operations and Hamas remains entrenched in the Gaza Strip, the toll of the conflict on civilian populations in the region continues to mount. The need for a sustainable and lasting peace agreement is more pressing than ever, as the cycle of violence and temporary truces repeats itself. International efforts will be crucial in bringing about a meaningful and enduring resolution to the conflict.