An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that Western and Israeli leaders hoped would bring an end to the current Gaza war had already collapsed by Tuesday afternoon, just hours after Israel's cabinet voted in favor of the truce.
Around mid-morning, Israeli ministers voted 6-2 to accept the Egyptian proposal, and the Israeli army was ordered to halt all operations against terrorist forces in Gaza.
But, the Gaza rockets just kept coming. Volley after volley targeted central and northern Israel. And though Israel's Iron Dome prevented any serious damage or injuries, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel wouldn't accept the lopsided situation for very long.
By mid-afternoon, Israel was against striking targets in Gaza, and the war appeared to be back in full swing.
Hamas had officially rejected the proposed ceasefire from the beginning, while militants from Sinai, Syria and Lebanon joined the fray overnight.
Egypt announced the ceasefire on Monday to great enthusiasm among Western leaders and most Israelis.
But Hamas officials called the terms of the Egyptian ceasefire proposal “unacceptable,” and claimed it had never even been presented to them. According to media reports, the proposal called for an immediate halt to all hostilities, followed by talks in Cairo to hammer out further details of a long-term truce.
Left-wing politicians and organizations in Israel urged the government to implement a one-sided ceasefire, even if Hamas continued to attack the Jewish state. They argued that Israel’s long-term interests must take precedence over a short-term victory, and that leaving Hamas strong and in control of Gaza was preferable to creating a situation where the coastal enclave descended into chaos and became a haven for even more dangerous terror groups.
Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh boasted that Israel’s eagerness for a ceasefire was evidence that the “Zionists” were losing the war.
In overnight attacks on Israel, the southern resort town of Eilat was hit for the first time in the current flare-up, presumably by terrorists operating in the Sinai Peninsula. Four Israelis were reported wounded by shrapnel as at least one of the rockets struck the center of Eilat’s popular resort area.
Also overnight, two more rockets from Lebanon hit northern Israel, as did a missile fired from war-torn Syria. It marked the first time Israel had been simultaneously attacked on four fronts - Gaza, Sinai, Lebanon and Syria.