Fighting Resumes in Israel

After a seven-day cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, fighting resumed on the morning of Friday, Dec. 1.

A cease-fire is an agreement, usually between two armies, to stop fighting in order to allow discussions about peace, according to the Cambridge Dictionary. The temporary pause took place to facilitate the release of dozens of people taken hostage during Hamas’ raid on Israel in exchange for humanitarian aid and Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

Prior to the ending of the pause, Prof. Brian Stiltner of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies discussed the temporary agreement.

“I believe the temporary ceasefire has been beneficial to both sides and the innocent people are being helped. The pause has allowed many hostages to be released,” he said.

Under the agreement’s terms, Israel and Hamas originally agreed to a four-day halt in hostilities, according to AP News.

Israel and Hamas then agreed to extend their temporary truce for additional days.

“The deal for two additional days of cease-fire, announced by Qatar, raised hopes for further extensions, which also allow more aid into Gaza,” according to AP News.

On Thursday, Nov. 30, Stiltner explained how the numbers of those released were 104 as of Thursday, while 143 remained captive. Israel had released 210 captive Palestinians from a list of 300 it approved for release.

One hour before the pause was due to end on Dec. 1, at 7 a.m. local time, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported that sirens were sounding for communities close to the Gaza Strip. The IDF then reported it had intercepted a rocket fired from the enclave, according to BBC.

Areas targeted by Israeli air strikes included northwestern Gaza and Khan Younis in the south – where hundreds of thousands of people fled earlier in the war to escape fighting in the north, according to BBC.

According to AP News, weeks of Israeli bombardment and a ground campaign have left more than three-quarters of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents homeless, causing a humanitarian crisis as they face widespread shortages of food, water and other supplies.

“Palestinians have suffered from human rights violations for years, yet people don’t talk about it. They have been oppressed by Israel for decades, and the attacks on Gaza are an act of inhumanity. I stand with peace,” said junior Ana Sofia Angeles-Sanchez. Israeli strikes on houses and buildings have killed at least 178 people throughout the Gaza Strip within the first hours of fighting after the truce collapsed on Dec. 1, according to AP News. The Israeli attacks were in response to an attack by

Hamas on Oct. 7 that killed 1,200 people in Israel. “Although Hamas’s initial attack was an outrageous assault on human life and the laws of war, Israel’s campaign is also violating the laws of war and is killing innocent civilians,” said Stiltner. As of press time, cease-fire mediator Qatar said efforts are ongoing to renew the truce, during which Israel paused most military activity in Gaza and released 300 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for militants freeing over 100 hostages held in Gaza, according to AP News.

“History is like day and night, it changes depending on who is telling it and whose eyes are seeing it. Violence is in no way justified in any of the cases, but I think it is important to remember the history behind the events that occurred,” said Angeles-Sanchez.

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