After two extensions, the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas ended abruptly on Friday, December 1 after Hamas fired a rocket toward Israel, violating the terms of the truce.
In a statement that morning, the Israeli Defense Forces said its missile defense system detected and intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza, which “violated the operational pause.” The IDF reported that its combat operations in Gaza had therefore resumed.
While making the rounds of the Sunday shows the following weekend, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby stressed that Hamas was to blame for the end of the temporary ceasefire.
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Kirby said the Biden administration was working on persuading the Israelis and Hamas to resume negotiations to allow more time to release the other hostages remaining in Gaza.
While appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Kirby said Hamas failed to keep the terms of the original ceasefire agreement when the group refused to include on their daily list the additional women and children who were still held in Gaza that Hamas was “refusing to let go.”
Kirby reiterated to host Shannon Bream that the US was working “literally by the hour” to get negotiations back on track.
The original 4-day ceasefire that began on Friday, November 24, was extended twice, first on Tuesday, November 28 for two days, and again on Thursday, November 30 for another day, after Israel agreed to keep the truce in place as long as Hamas supplied a list of the hostages scheduled to be released each day.
As part of the terms of the ceasefire, Israel agreed to release two Hamas prisoners for each hostage released from Gaza. By the end of the 7-day ceasefire, over 100 hostages, all of them women and children, were released by Hamas while more than 240 Hamas prisoners were released from prison in Israel.