By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the Israeli intelligence agency that met Qatari negotiators in Doha to return to Israel, accusing the Hamas militant group of breaking the ceasefire deal.
He said Hamas “did not fulfill its part of the agreement, which included the release of all children and women according to a list that was forwarded to Hamas and approved by it”.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Netanyahu’s office, on behalf of the Intelligence and Special Tasks Agency, said, “The head of Mossad thanks the head of the CIA, the Egyptian Minister of Intelligence and the Prime Minister of Qatar for their partnership in the tremendous mediation efforts that led to the release of 84 children and women from the Gaza Strip in addition to 24 foreign citizens.”
Israel’s military resumed combat in the Gaza Strip after the end of its truce with Hamas. Airstrikes and gunfire were reported in the Palestinian enclave after the announcement, while sirens sounded in southern Israeli communities near the border.
The lead mediator, Qatar however said talks are ongoing to renew the ceasefire after a weeklong truce that saw the release of more than 100 hostages held in Gaza and 240 Palestinians held in Israeli jails.
The Israeli military says Hamas leaders are hiding alongside the masses of civilians in Gaza Strip, urging civilians to evacuate.
The U.S. has urged its ally to do more to protect Palestinians in any new campaign.
More than 1.7 million people have been displaced in Gaza, where health officials say the death toll had surpassed 15,000 after weeks of Israeli attacks and new deaths were reported today.
The Israel Defense Forces estimates 1,200 people were killed in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack, with around 140 people still held captive in Gaza.