Israel loves to point out how it continuously offers to cease fire in Gaza, but Hamas refuses to stop shooting:
So it appears to have finally worked out a solution to the dilemma. Today, Israel finally offered a cease fire it knew Hamas would have no choice but to accept. Via Haaretz:
2:25 P.M. IDF announces 4-hour humanitarian cease-fire will take effect starting at 3 P.M. Top Israeli official says cease-fire will only be in effect in areas where no fighting is taking place (Jack Khouri, Barak Ravid)
That might sound like a silly proposition — “no shooting except where there’s shooting” — unless you realize this is the only kind of cease fire both sides are guaranteed to honor. A Hamas spokesman officially rejected the cease fire on behalf of his organization, but this time the rejection was pro forma. So when Hamas continued firing projectiles into Israel…
2:59 P.M. Mortar shell explodes in open area in Eshkol Regional Council; no injuries reported. (Shirley Seidler)
3:05 P.M. As four-hour humanitarian cease-fire set to begin Gaza militants fire a barrage of rockets at Ashkelon, Ashdod and the coastal south.
3:10 P.M. Iron Dome intercepts rockets over Ashdod and Ashkelon. Mortar shell explodes in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council (Shirly Seidler)
3:20 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in a number of towns surrounding the Gaza Strip.
3:38 P.M. A rocket explodes in the yard of a home in the Sdot Negev Regional Council. (Shirly Seidler)
3:42 P.M. Two mortar shells explode in the Eshkol Regional Council. One caused damage to a town’s parameter fence. (Shirly Seidler)
4:07 P.M. Rocket siren sounds in town near Gaza.
4:28 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in a couple of Israeli towns near Gaza.
4:40 P.M. Two rockets and two mortar shells explode in open field near the Gaza Strip. (Shirly Seidler)
4:45 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in two Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip.
4:53 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in about ten towns in southern Israel.
4:55 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in two Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip.
5:08 P.M. Six rockets explode in open fields in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council. Currently no damage was reported.
5:11 P.M. Debris from the last rocket intercepted over Ashkelon falls in the parking lot of the Barzilai Medical Center, damaging several vehicles. (Shirly Seidler)
5:16 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in two Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip.
5:17 P.M. Iron Dome intercepts a rocket fired at Netivot. Two rockets explode in Sdot Negev Regional Council in open fields; six explode in open fields in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council. Currently no damage was reported. (Shirly Seidler)
5:18 P.M. Iron Dome intercepts another rocket fired at the Sdot Negev Regional Council. (Shirly Seidler)
5:27 P.M. Five Palestinians have died in Israeli aerial strikes on the Gaza Strip in the last two hours, since the IDF’s unilaterally declared partial humanitarian cease-fire went into effect, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported.
… it marked the first time since Saturday that Israel and Hamas both honored the terms of a cease fire; they both kept shooting.