The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which had prevailed for seven days, collapsed this Friday following the violation of the agreement by Palestinian terrorists. This truce had allowed for the exchange of hostages captured by them in exchange for the release of prisoners by Tel Aviv.
Hamas attacked and disrupted what was becoming an incident-free exchange, leading to emotional scenes of hostages finally gaining freedom after the brutal and violent incursion into Israeli territory on October 7th. It is now history.
The Sounds of Sirens
Rocket alert sirens once again pierced the quiet in Ashdod and Gaza border communities, signaling the mounting tensions. The news of Kibbutz Nir Oz resident, Ronen Engel's death in Hamas captivity added to the intensifying atmosphere. Engel is the third confirmed Kibbutz resident killed during this period of hostilities.
The Aerial Defense Array intercepted the aerial target that had earlier triggered rocket alert sirens in the north. The IDF also confirmed that five Israeli soldiers were moderately and lightly wounded by a mortar attack in Gaza. As the sirens resounded in central Israel for the first time since the war in Gaza restarted on Friday morning, residents in Rishon Lezion, Holon, Rehovot, Lod, Nes Ziona, Ashdod, and other nearby cities and towns braced for the worst.
Hostages and Humanitarian Aid
Reports from former hostages indicate that Israeli hostages were abused. In a significant move, Israel has informed the United Nations that it will not renew a visa for the top UN humanitarian aid official for the Palestinian Gaza Strip and West Bank. The situation continues to escalate, with incoming rocket sirens sounding in the community of Eliav in the Lachish region and the West Bank settlement of Tekoa.