• Israel-Hamas Truce Ends - War Resumes After Week of ‘Hostages For Prisoners’ Swap

    December 1, 2023
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    Early Friday morning local time, Israel’s military confirmed that their military operation to wipe out Hamas inside the Gaza Strip has resumed after the temporary week-long truce with Hamas had expired. 

    Israel is blaming Hamas for violating the cease-fire.

    The pause in the war began a week ago, on Nov. 24. The first phase called for a halt for four days in exchange for releasing one Hamas-held hostage for three Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons, and humanitarian aid delivered inside Gaza. 

    Then the truce was extended for several days because of Qatari and Egyptian mediators, who had hoped to extended the truce even longer. 

    More than 100 hostages were released. About 140 hostages remain in captivity in Gaza. Most of those released on both sides were women and children. 

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    Hamas officials have hinted all along that in order to return the remaining hostages, the exchange would be a significantly higher ratio because thousands of Palestinians remain in Israeli jails. 

    The last exchange occurred on Thursday when eight Israeli hostages were released at the last-minute and Israel freed 30 Palestinians prisoners. 

    Israel identified two of the women hostages released as 21-year-old French national Mia Schem, who was seized at a dance party and 40-year-old Amit Soussana. 

    Two other hostages released were brother and sister, Belal and Aisha al-Ziadna, aged 18 and 17 respectively, who are Bedouin Arab citizens of Israel. Two of their families members remain as hostages. 

    At least 19 members of the Bedouin community were killed during the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks. Two Bedouin were classified as missing and dozens of Bedouins were wounded. At least seven were kidnapped by Hamas. Four members of the al-Ziadna family were among those taken.

    Bedouin citizens are ethnically Arab and Muslim and make up about 4% of Israel's total population.

    Israeli President Issac Herzog visited the southern Bedouin city of Rahat on Thursday to meet with Bedouin leaders. 

    "I say to everyone around the world, that this is not a war between Jews and Muslims," Herzog said. "This is a war between the people of who seek to bring light and the people who seek to bring darkness."

    "What we saw on October 7 does not represent Islam. Islam is a religion of respect, sensitivity, brotherhood, and love," said Herzog.

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    Christine Dolan

    Christine Dolan is a seasoned Investigative Journalist, television producer, author, and photographer. She is Co-Founder of American Conversations whose format focuses on in-depth analysis of critical issues about “the story behind the headlines.”
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