Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza on Friday following the breakdown of talks to extend a week-old truce with Hamas. The intensified bombardment affected eastern areas of Khan Younis, causing residents to flee for shelter. In the north of Gaza, previously a major conflict zone, significant smoke and sounds of gunfire were reported. Both Israel and Hamas accused each other of derailing negotiations, with the White House singling out Hamas for not providing a new list of hostages for truce extension.
The UN warned of a worsening humanitarian emergency, stating that “Hell on Earth has returned to Gaza.”
Within hours of the truce expiring, Gaza health officials reported 109 people killed and dozens wounded. Israel claimed to have targeted over 200 “terror targets.” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant emphasized a commitment to continuing military action until war goals are achieved.
Reports suggest Israel aims to establish a buffer zone on Gaza’s Palestinian border to prevent future attacks. The bombing was most intense in Khan Younis and Rafah, affecting Gazans who sought refuge from northern conflicts.
The dire situation is exemplified by emotional scenes in hospitals, such as a mother’s cry for her injured son, Anas Anwar al-Masri, in Khan Younis.