Despite a 72-hour ceasefire starting early Tuesday morning, supposedly to give way to negotiations in Cairo on a settlement of the conflict, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to rule out ending the Gaza War.
Dismissing the negotiations, Netanyahu insisted the military operation would continue until the entire Gaza Strip became “calm,” and that there would be no cessation of fire before that.
Even during Monday’s humanitarian “ceasefire,” Israel never really ceased fire, and continued to pound refugee camps around Rafah, killing more civilians, including an eight-year-old girl.
The death toll continues to mount, with at least 1,938 killed now, and 9,500 wounded. In both cases, the toll is overwhelmingly (84%) civilian in nature. The Israeli toll remains unchanged at 67 killed, 64 of them soldiers.
A deal to end the war seems extremely unlikely at this point, with Israel talking up the possibility of unilaterally ending the war at some unspecified future date as a viable alternative to making any concessions to ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza itself.
Still, Israel has agreed to send a delegation to Cairo for negotiations, and that means a deal is at least theoretically possible, assuming this ceasefire doesn’t end like the last 72-hour ceasefire, 75 minutes in, with Israeli soldiers attacking a tunnel and then complaining that return fire from Hamas fighters inside the tunnel constituted a “violation.”