The day started with an air of optimism and there was a sense, at last, that this war was over. Maybe the problems had not been solved, but at least the missiles would end and we would have not have lost any people. I was out early with my son for breakfast, and, for a few minutes, we did not worry that the sirens would go off. At 9:00, the Israeli government officially accepted Egypt’s ceasefire call. Yet, a few minutes later missiles were flying, beginning with the areas immediately around Gaza. A few minutes later, a major barrage of missiles were aimed at Ashdod. One missile fell on a house, but thankfully the residents were in their reinforced room and were not hurt. Then, a few minutes later, sirens went off in the center of the country and a missile was intercepted over Rishon Le’Tzion. If we had any hope of a potential ceasefire, it quickly evaporated as soon as sirens began to sound in the North, when Hamas launched missiles North towards Haifa.
What happened? Beginning last night, almost all of the experts had said that there was going to be a ceasefire. Overnight, hardly any missiles had fallen. What changed?
First, we had all assumed that the Hamas was not going to say no to the Egyptian President Sisi once again. Second, we assumed that the Hamas was ready for a ceasefire.
What we did not understand was that first, Hamas, at this point, does not care what Sisi thinks. We further did not understand that Hamas was not willing to end the war without achieving anything. The Egyptian plan did not provide Hamas with any gains at all after a week of fighting and not killing any Israelis. Finally, Hamas has concluded that Israel is weak and not willing to launch a ground assault. Under those conditions, Hamas made the conscious decision to reject the ceasefire and resume the missile attacks.
It is now clear that we are not going to have a ceasefire any time soon. Hamas has only one of two goals- either kill us or make sure that we kill so many of their own people that the world will turn against us. I am not sure they are leaving us too many choices.
When I began writing this update, we, in Tel-Aviv, had not been attacked yet. Moments after I finished writing, as the piece was being edited, the sirens went off. Three more missiles were headed towards Tel-Aviv, and all were downed by the Iron Dome. At the same time 20+ missiles were sent at other parts of Israel. It looks like it's just another day of living under occasional missile fire.