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- Eastern areas of Khan Younis in southern Gaza have come under intensive bombardment on Friday.
- The UN said the fighting would worsen an extreme humanitarian emergency.
- The pause which began on 24 November had been extended twice.
“What we’re doing now is striking Hamas military targets all over the Gaza Strip,” Israel Defense Forces spokesman Jonathan Conricus told reporters on Saturday.
Fears of a wider regional conflict grew after the Syrian defence ministry said Israeli strikes had hit Damascus on Saturday and the militant group Hezbollah said one of its members had been killed in an Israeli strike on Lebanon on Friday.
“We’re going to continue to work with Israel and Egypt and Qatar on efforts to reimplement the pause,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters in California on Friday.
‘Mother of all thumpings’
The Israeli army said on Friday that five of the hostages seized by Hamas had died, and that the Islamist group was still holding “136 hostages, including 17 women and children”.
The Israeli military said that “ground, air and naval forces struck terror targets in the north and south of the Gaza Strip, including in Khan Yunis and Rafah.”
“What did he do wrong? God, what did we do to deserve this?” he yelled.
A rocket strike destroyed a van in one Israeli community near Gaza.
The Israeli military published a map of “evacuation zones” in the Gaza Strip that it said would enable residents to “evacuate from specific places for their safety if required”.
Hezbollah meanwhile claimed its first attacks on Israel since the truce ended.
Hamas, in its entirety, is designated as a terrorist organisation by countries including Australia, Canada, the UK and the US. New Zealand and Paraguay list only its military wing as a terrorist group. In 2018, the United Nations General Assembly voted against a resolution condemning Hamas in its entirety as a terrorist organisation.