Yesterday’s announced 72-hour ceasefire was supposed to go in effect in the Gaza Strip at 1 AM Eastern this morning. It never really got off the ground, and collapsed quickly into a new round of killings, with at least 50 more Palestinians slain in the few short hours since Israel announced the ceasefire “called off.”
The overall Gaza death toll now stands at at least 1,600, overwhelmingly civilians, while the Israeli toll, so far unchanged from last night, is 66 killed, 63 of them soldiers involved in the invasion.
Exactly who broke the ceasefire first varies depending on who is doing the reporting, but both sides seemed eager to resume fighting as soon as possible. Palestinians reported an Israeli air strike killing two in Gaza City was the first violation of the ceasefire, while Israel has claimed that either missiles were fired by some faction, or a kidnapping took place.
The Israeli military claimed its troops were attacking a tunnel, which they insisted was allowed by the ceasefire, when Hamas fighters emerged from inside the tunnel and exchanged fire, capturing a soldier.
What followed were heavy Israeli attacks on a nearby civilian neighborhood, which killed 50 and wounded hundreds of others, overwhelming a nearby hospital and adding to the massive toll of the Israeli onslaught.
The ceasefire negotiations, obviously, never got started since even officially the ceasefire lasted only about an hour, and it seems unlikely that new talks will be held now.