After cease-fire with Hamas collapses, Israel resumes hitting targets in Gaza
LEILA FADEL, HOST:
The truce between Hamas and Israel is over.
SHAIMAA AHMED: Hello, Leila. It is true. The pause is over, and they've resumed the attack.
FADEL: Shaimaa Ahmed sent me this voice note this morning. She's a 20-year-old computer engineering student in central Gaza.
AHMED: We woke up today to the sounds of gunfire, tank fire, ship fire and gunfire. It's coming from all directions.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Now, Israel says Hamas opened fire first with rockets. Each side, then, blames the other for the collapse of a seven-day cease-fire. They are talking of renewing it. But as they talk, the new Israeli airstrikes have killed multiple family members, including children.
FADUA MAGDAD: (Non-English language spoken).
FADEL: NPR's Daniel Estrin is with us now from Tel Aviv. Hi, Daniel.
DANIEL ESTRIN, BYLINE: Hi, Leila.
FADEL: So, you know, I was just listening to so much pain in those cries. Can you tell us what we were hearing there?
ESTRIN: Our producer Anas Baba recorded that in a hospital in southern Gaza. It's Fadua Magdad (ph) crying out for her 5-year-old daughter, Juri (ph), who died. And she said, "my beloved, it was going to be your birthday. I was going to make you a cake." He filmed 12 bodies there at the hospital, wrapped in white body bags. He said they're members of four different families killed in an Israeli strike. Here is what Anas Baba also told me.
ANAS BABA, BYLINE: We were totally surprised. Most of the people were in the market because today is Friday, and the markets are totally going to be, like, crowded with people. Most of the residents of the south - they were expecting that this Friday is going to be, like, with having the family reunion and to have, like, a good lunch because - this is another bombardment, Daniel. This is another bombardment of Rafah city. It's very close to me. This is the second one.
FADEL: So people caught off guard. I mean, how did the cease-fire break down?
ESTRIN: Well, there was rocket fire from Gaza onto Israel just before the cease fire was set to expire this morning. And both sides were accusing each other of a breakdown in talks to renew the cease-fire. Israel blamed Hamas for not agreeing to release the female hostages it was supposed to today. Hamas said Israel refused its offers to release elderly hostages and the bodies of hostages who had been killed. When the cease-fire broke down, our colleague Brian Mann was at a Tel Aviv square where there are supporters of hostages gathering, and he spoke to an Israeli, Yoav Shalhav (ph), who personally knows two hostages still in Gaza. And he said Israel, he thinks, should prioritize their release before renewing the military campaign against Hamas.
YOAV SHALHAV: I feel very bad about the whole issue. Our main concern is getting back not only these two guys but everyone. I think this should be the first priority. And the issue with Hamas is important. It should be resolved, but it can be second priority. This is my personal opinion.
ESTRIN: Qatar says it is mediating now between Israel and Hamas to return to a cease-fire but that the bombing now in Gaza complicates those efforts.
FADEL: Yeah, I mean, and the secretary of state, Antony Blinken, just left Israel. Did his visit make any difference here?
ESTRIN: Blinken did call for Israel to announce specific safe zones where civilians in Gaza can go to and be safe from bombings. Israel says it did drop leaflets saying where people should evacuate. And this morning the army posted an interactive map online, with neighborhoods numbered for future evacuation if instructed. But Leila, this is a very complicated-looking map online. Just navigating it on your phone is difficult. And if people in Gaza - they don't often have internet connection. Just main street names are posted there. We don't know if Israel has already used this map to announce evacuation zones. We do know that there are already children and family members dead this morning.
FADEL: NPR's Daniel Estrin. Thank you, Daniel.
ESTRIN: You're very welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
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