The six-month truce between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is over. Recent clashes between the two stretched the deal to breaking point, and Hamas’ decision to end it now raises the spectre of an escalation in violence. “The ceasefire will end tomorrow, on the 19th, and there is no way back,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum. “The one who asked for a truce did not respect it. The Zionists destroyed it.”
Despite a brief calm when the truce came into effect, Hamas resumed firing rockets over the border, prompting the Israeli army to respond. In the latest tit-for-tat attacks, Hamas wounded two people in a barrage of cross-border missiles, while one man died in Gaza when Israel hit back. Hamas accuses Israel of failing to lift its blockade of Gaza, while Jewish hardliners have called for an all-out military assault to crush Hamas once and for all.