Following a day of increased rocket fire from Gaza as well as Israeli airstrikes, a cessation of violence remained elusive going into the evening. As many as 15 more Palestinians were reportedly killed in airstrikes in Gaza and several Israelis were treated for shock and minor injuries as millions of citizens fled for bomb shelters.
Perhaps, the most notable development were the reports of rockets hitting Israel from Lebanon, followed by an Israeli response, which may signal an explosive expansion of a conflict that both sides stumbled into. As Jeffrey Goldberg explained:
I understand that this latest round in the never-ending Israel-Gaza war was, in many ways, a mistake. Israel was uninterested in an all-out confrontation with Hamas at the moment, and Hamas, which is trying to manage a threat to its control of Gaza from -- believe it or not -- groups even more radical and nihilistic than it is, is particularly ill-prepared to confront Israel."
Owing to the politics and optics of declaring victory, neither side will be able to stop firing before the other and, without outside mediation, the fighting seems destined to continue.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council met earlier in a special session on the violence and issued this statement:
The Security Council members called for de-escalation of the situation, restoration of calm, and reinstitution of the November 2012 ceasefire.