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Israel Reignites War with Hamas: Hostage Release Truce Expires

The Israeli-Hamas conflict re-erupted today after a three-day ceasefire expired. Israel resumed its fight against Hamas after the truce concluded without the return of two Israeli hostages who were captured in a military raid last week. Israeli jets began striking Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip shortly after 9 am, local time, after the truce ended without the refresh of the two hostages, Lieutenant Hadar Goldin and Sgt. Oron Shaul. The two Israeli soldiers had been held captive by Hamas since last Thursday, when they were taken during a week of heavy fighting. The ceasefire was brokered on Monday night after forces loyal to Hamas and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) stepped up the fighting. However, the truce was not extended and a subsequent attempt to extend it was rejected on Wednesday. Hamas is now accusing Israel of violating the truce agreement, while Israel has accused Hamas of using the ceasefire as a “smokescreen” to regroup its fighters and rearm itself. No official numbers have been released yet on casualties in today’s fighting. However, local sources have reported the sound of heavy artillery fire in some areas. Given the situation, it is unclear what is going to happen next. It is also unclear at this time if or when the two Israeli hostages will be released. Until then, the war between Israel and Hamas is likely to continue with no end in sight.