The prime minister of Egypt visited Gaza today in an attempt to broker a cease fire, but neither side let up on its aggressive rocket-based war. Israel said it would agree to a truce during the visit of Hisham Qandil, yet both blame the other violating the cease fire before it even began. Rockets continued to rain down on both sides of the border, with Palestinian fire reportedly reaching as far as the capital of Tel Aviv. Current lists of casualties include at least 20 Palestinians and three Israelis, including some citizens on both sides.
While leaders around the world call for calm (or at least restraint), each new rocket brings new charges of escalation and more calls for retaliation. After the Hamas set off air raid sirens in Tel Aviv for the first time since the first Gulf War in 1991, Israeli air strikes destroyed the Gaza interior ministry and targeted the home of Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas prime minister. There appeared to be no casualties from that blast.
While Israel troops have not yet entered the Gaza territory, the IDF is reportedly calling up as many 16,000 reservists, suggesting that they are at least preparing for the possibility of a ground assault. Such a move would signal a dramatic turning point that would move the violence and destruction in Gaza to another more disturbing level, and already has some worried about what this means for Israel's approach to Hamas' partner, Iran.