A behind the scenes cease fire developed with the assistance of Egypt appeared to be at an end after israel Defense Forces during raids in Bethlehem killed five members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. In response, to the attacks, rockets began to be fired from Gaza. The gunmen who were killed were cnsidered to be part of the leadership of Islamic Jihad which had connections with Jihad leadership in Syria. Hamas claimed it had only agreed to a one week period of peace with Egyptian negotiators and that would end on Friday. The Palestinian Authority denounced the killings as an effort to destroy hopes for peace.
A major issue that hampers possibilities for peace is the demand by Hamas for an end to killings and arrests of militants in the West Bank while Israel insists it can never cease its efforts to seek out and kill every millitant who has been involved in the murder of Israelis. At some point, Israel has to take a step back and ascertain if by focusing on the present, peace is possible. One side can not continue killing members of the other side while demanding peace. The lesson of South Africa is a leader like Nelson Mandela arose who urged forgetting about past murders and brutality and rethink what could be done in the present.
There will be no cease fire until all sides adhere to a belief a cease fire means an end to all forms of aggression. This stance is a gamble, but any attempt to end brutality is always a gamble on both sides.