Israeli IDF soldiers perform maintenance on their Merkava tank in a forward staging area near the Gaza Strip on November 28, 2023. Photo by Jim Hollander/UPI |

Israeli IDF soldiers perform maintenance on their Merkava tank in a forward staging area near the Gaza Strip on November 28, 2023. Photo by Jim Hollander/UPI |

upi Israeli forces resumed military operations against Hamas just minutes after the seven-day military break expired, and peacekeepers struggled to extend the truce for at least another day.

The IDF accused Hamas of shooting at Israel in violation of the terms of the interim peace agreement brokered by Qatar, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded in a statement on Friday that Hamas was "not honoring its commitment to release all abducted women and launched rockets towards Israeli citizens today."

The Prime minister said the purpose of the resumption of hostilities was to "free the hostages, eliminate Hamas" and ensure that Israeli citizens would never again be threatened by an attack from the Gaza Strip, he said.

The IDF spokesman added that Israel "seeks to destroy" Hamas.

Major Doron Spielman told CNN on Friday that the IDF's mission is to ensure that Hamas "can never commit this crime in Israel again, and bring our people home along the way."

Spielman added that the military's targets remain "Hamas strongholds, Hamas terrorists and places where they fired rocket launchers."

Sirens warned of a rocket approaching Israel an hour before the end of the truce on Friday. The rocket was intercepted, but sirens have continued to wail in Israeli settlements near the Gaza Strip since then, as Israel was rocked by new firepower.

"The sleeping Israelis woke up again to the sound of the red siren of Hamas rockets falling on us from the Gaza Strip again," Spielman told CNN, adding that "there were several rockets" that were intercepted on Friday.

Spielman said that Hamas did not target the troops, but indiscriminately launched rockets at Israel, threatening the lives of civilians, and said that the IDF had no choice but to respond, acknowledging that a response could, in turn, endanger the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.

"We don't want to see the deaths of Gaza civilians, but Hamas is operating directly from these areas, and we have to ask ourselves, what is the alternative?" he said.

"If we don't do anything, if we lay down our arms, we will just let Hamas carry out another massacre like on October 7th. I think that from a moral point of view it is completely unconscionable," he said.

Officials said they were still working to secure a more permanent ceasefire despite the resumption of hostilities, or at least an extension of the temporary ceasefire that collapsed on Friday.

On the eve of November 30, two Hamas militants killed three people at a bus stop in Jerusalem during the morning rush hour on Thursday, and Israel reaffirmed its commitment to the destruction of the Palestinian Islamist group, whose series of murders on October 7 provoked the war in Gaza.

The attackers, Palestinians from East Jerusalem, were shot dead by soldiers on duty and an armed civilian, police said. At least eight people were also injured in the shooting.

"The terrorists arrived at the scene in the morning by car, armed with an M-16 rifle and a pistol," the police said. "The terrorists started shooting at civilians and then were killed on the spot."

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