WAR: Hamas Breaks Truce, Fires Rockets; IDF Responds with Airstrikes

hamas rockets
AP Photo/Fatima Shbair

The week-long truce between the Palestinian terror group Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) ended on Friday morning local time as Hamas launched rockets toward Israel, prompting the IDF to launch airstrikes on Hamas targets in Gaza City.

The first rockets were identified at 5:42 a.m. local time, just over an hour before the truce was to expire. At 7:06 a.m. local time, six minutes after the formal expiration of the truce, the IDF announced via Telegram that it had resumed combat operations.

The resumption of hostilities came despite media reports that Egypt and Qatar had negotiated an eighth day of hostage and prisoner releases, and despite urging by the White House for an extension of the “pause” in fighting and against Israel’s future war plans.

Update: The Prime Minister’s Office has released a statement (via the Times of Israel) in which it stated that Hamas had failed to live up to its obligations under the truce, including a commitment to release all female hostages, among other broken promises.

“Amid the return to combat, we stress the government of Israel is committed to achieving the goals of the war — releasing our hostages, eliminating Hamas and ensuring that Gaza can never again threaten the people of Israel,” the statement continued.

Hours before Hamas broke the truce, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had lectured reporters — and Israel’s war cabinet — about the need for the IDF to be careful about Palestinian civilians.

Privately, Blinken told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. would not support Israel taking the final steps to defeat Hamas by attacking it in the southern Gaza Strip as it had struck Hamas in the north; he also said that Israel lacked the “credit” to spend the several months it would take to end Hamas.

Hamas took advantage of the seven-day truce in several ways. It regrouped from weeks of attacks by the IDF, and likely obtained control of some of the humanitarian aid and fuel provided to the Gaza Strip under the terms of the truce. It produced propaganda videos that showed Hamas supporters humiliating Israeli hostages, while those same hostages were forced to say, on camera, how well they had been treated. And it boosted its support by obtaining the release of more than 200 terrorists from Israeli prisons.

In addition, Hamas widened the gap between the Biden administration and the Netanyahu government, whose disagreements are now out in the open. But Israel also gained. It secured the release of almost all the child hostages, including the Arab and Muslim cones; roughly 140 hostages are left, mostly men and soldiers.

In so doing, the truce reinforced the cohesion of Israeli society. The pause also allowed IDF reservists to rest and to regroup.

Now Israel knows it must fight to win; it may not have another chance.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Photo: file


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