White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Friday that Hamas is to blame for the end of the ceasefire in Gaza and the renewed fighting in the Strip.
"We continue to work with Israel, Egypt and Qatar on efforts to restore the humanitarian pause in Gaza. But let’s be clear about this: It's because of Hamas that this pause ended. The onus is on Hamas," Kirby said in a briefing.
Kirby added that Hamas failed to produce a list of hostages that could have helped extend the pause.
On Hamas' claim it does not hold any more women and children it could have released under the terms of the previous deal, he said, “We think it’s more than plausible that they have more women and children that do and should quality for an exchange.”
"The President and the entire national security team will continue to remain deeply engaged on this as we continue to want to see more hostages released and more aid getting in," Kirby continued, saying that "if Hamas truly care about Palestinians, they'll do what they can to come up with a list of hostages that can be exchanged."
Earlier on Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters it was “important to understand” that the seven-day pause in fighting in Gaza came to an end “because of Hamas.”
“Hamas reneged on commitments it made — in fact, even before the pause came to end, had committed an atrocious terrorist attack in Jerusalem, killing three people, wounding others, including Americans,” Blinken said, referring to the shooting attack in Jerusalem on Thursday.
“It began firing rockets before pause had ended. And as I said, it reneged on commitments it made in terms of releasing certain hostages,” added Blinken.
Israel announced on Friday morning the renewal of fighting in Gaza, after the Hamas terror organization violated the terms of the operational pause.
The announcement came after the original ceasefire ended at 7:00 a.m. and after Hamas failed to provide a new list of hostages that would have been freed on Friday evening.
In addition, Hamas fired rocket barrages towards southern Israel early in the morning.
Before the fighting resumed, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday night that Israel and Hamas had agreed to extend the temporary truce in Gaza for an eighth day.
Egyptian officials cited in the report said that the deal is expected to involve the release of another 10 hostages, mostly women and children.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)