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What’s happened since the Israel Hamas temporary ceasefire ended?

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Last Friday, the temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas ended, lasting a total of seven days.
Israel Hamas temporary ceasefire

Last Friday, the temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas ended, lasting a total of seven days. This was three days longer than initially expected.

During the pause, Israel released a total of 240 Palestinian prisoners and Hamas released 105 hostages.

Here’s what has happened since.

Israel and Hamas conflict

On 7 October, Hamas launched an attack on Israel, killing roughly 1,200 people. About 240 hostages were captured by Hamas, which controls Gaza. There are still 138 hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza.

Israel responded to the attack by declaring war and launching a ground invasion in Gaza. According to data cited by the United Nations, more than 15,000 people in Gaza have been killed since 7 October.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has consistently said its military will resume fighting until all hostages are returned and Hamas is eliminated.

Southern Gaza

Following the end of the temporary ceasefire, Israel is now intensifying fighting in southern Gaza.

This comes as 1.8 million people are now living in the south of Gaza after the Israeli Defence Forces told residents to leave the north – where most of the violence was initially occurring – and go to the south in mid-October.

Israel has now issued evacuation orders for people in parts of southern Gaza, including the main city of Khan Younis.

One UN official said: “People are pleading for advice on where to find safety. We have nothing to tell them.”

Conditions in Gaza

The World Health Organisation’s Dr Margaret Harris told NPR there are outbreaks of jaundice and diarrhoeal disease caused by “dirty water, lack of sewage services, [and] overcrowding” in Gaza.

The World Food Programme’s director Cindy McCain has issued an urgent plea for further aid in Gaza “as humanitarian needs skyrocket and critical food supplies reach dangerously low levels”.

Civilian deaths

The UN has repeatedly called for Israel to abide by international humanitarian law which requires militaries to “take all feasible measures” to protect civilians.

Israel has defended its actions by saying “Hamas deliberately embeds itself among civilians so that Gazans will bear the consequences of Hamas atrocities”.

Allegations of sexual crimes

Israel has accused Hamas of sexual violence crimes during the 7 October attacks.

Israeli authorities say they have “hundreds of testimonies of rape and sex crimes” they allege were committed but claimed “virtually all” of the victims were murdered on 7 October.

Speaking on Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden said it was “on all of us – government, international organizations, civil society and businesses – to forcefully condemn the sexual violence of Hamas terrorists without equivocation”.

Australia

After the temporary pause ended, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said: “Australia wants to see next steps towards a sustainable ceasefire, but it cannot be one-sided.”

She added: “Australia is working with countries that have influence in the region towards the goal of a long-term, enduring peace, and to help protect civilians and prevent the conflict from spreading.”

Travel warning

Earlier this week, Israel upgraded its travel advice for those travelling to Australia to level two, which urges Israeli citizens to take extra precautions when visiting, due to a rise in antisemitism.

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said on ABC’s RN in light of this decision: “We are seeing a rise in both antisemitism and Islamophobia and there can be no place for that within our society.”

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