12:03 am ET, December 1, 2023
BREAKING: Israel-Hamas ceasefire deal appears to have expired.
From CNN staff
A cease-fire between Israel and Hamas appeared to have expired on Friday, when an agreement to extend the hostage deal for another eight days was not immediately reached.
It remains unclear whether fighting will resume in the Gaza Strip, which has suffered heavy damage and loss of life in seven weeks of Israeli bombardment.
An hour before Friday’s deadline, Israel’s air defense system intercepted a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said. No details on who fired the single rocket.
The ceasefire, which began last Friday, was expected to end at 7 a.m. local time (12 a.m. ET). The deal to extend for a seventh day came down to the wire on Thursday.
Some context: Egypt’s state information service says Egyptian and Qatari negotiators are pushing to extend the fighting in Gaza for two more days to facilitate the release of more hostages and Palestinian prisoners, and to provide more aid.
Israeli officials have repeatedly said that an extended condition for a ceasefire is that Hamas release 10 Israeli women and children a day it is holding hostage.
Under the terms of the deal, Israel freed three Palestinians for every Israeli hostage freed.
With the end of the ceasefire, both Israel and Hamas have said they are ready to fight again.
“We must be ready to quickly transition to a full-scale fight today, tomorrow, anytime. “As soon as we step up the return of the hostages, we will resume heavy fighting across the Gaza Strip,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant said on Thursday.
On Thursday, Hamas’ military wing asked its forces to be on high combat readiness.
During the seven-day lull in fighting, 80 Israelis — primarily women and children and some of them dual nationals — and 24 foreigners were freed. Another Israeli dual citizen was also released outside the agreed deal.
As of Thursday, 240 Palestinians had been released from Israeli prisons — mostly women and minors.