The fighting between Israel and Hamas continued Sunday night with rocket attacks on both sides, while in the background the efforts to work out a ceasefire have begun to ramp up.
The single ugliest attack so far occurred Sunday morning. "We are exacting a heavy price from Hamas and the terrorist organizations. and the Israel Defense Forces are prepared for a significant expansion of the operation," Netanyahu said Sunday morning. Israel expanded its targets on Saturday to include government infrastructure, like the Prime Minister's house, and on Sunday they expanded their targets again to include the homes of suspected militants. An Israeli airstrike leveled a two story house and killed eleven people, including an 80-year-old woman and four children.
Reporters embedded in Gaza became part of their own story on Sunday when Israeli airstrikes targeted two of the buildings they're working in. Israel defended their actions by accusing Hamas of using the journalists as human shields to protect the communications satellites that are on the top of the buildings. That's what they were aiming for, according to Israel.
The Iron Dome defense system deployed in Tel Aviv has also been active. It's intercepted at least three rockets from striking Tel Aviv over the last twenty four hours. In all since the conflict began, Iron Dome has intercepted almost 250 rockets from striking Israel's major cities.
A delegation of Arab League officials are heading to Gaza to show their support for the Palestinians who have come under attack, and are supporting the Egypt-led peace talks. Their presence in Gaza should put pressure on Netanyahu to get a ceasefire deal done. Should one of his air raids or missile attacks kill an Arab League foreign minister, the repercussions on Israel would be huge.
The efforts to actually work out a deal are at least in motion. Netanyahu is facing an increasing amount of pressure internationally to end the latest conflict. Obama stressed that he supported Israel's right to defend itself, but that he hoped a ground operation could be avoided. He also. "We're going to have to see what kind of progress we can make in the next 24, 36, 48 hours," Obama said. At one point the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. sent out a tweet saying they'd be willing to sit down with Hamas to work on a peace deal, but then he deleted it. Egyptian security officials have reported Israel has an official in Cairo on Sunday to sit down and work out a ceasefire deal with Hamas, though.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.