The latest ceasefire in Gaza appears to be holding, even though Gazans and Israelis were unable to get sleep on the night of November 12, when Israeli planes shelled hundreds of Palestinian targets, destroying a hotel, a TV station and various homes and institutions. Hamas for its part, along with other factions, was able to respond powerfully, hitting south Israel with hundreds of rockets. In one incident, Palestinians waited Israeli soldiers to descend from a bus near the borders before shelling it. The scene was captured on video and was a clear indication that Hamas was more interested in sending a message of deterrence than killing Israeli soldiers.
The latest cycle of violence began when an Israeli undercover operation, deep in Palestinian territory, was intercepted by Palestinian fighters. The operation included Israeli soldiers dressed as women as they targeted a senior Hamas official. The result was the killing of a senior Israeli officer and the injury of another, while seven Palestinians were killed in the ensuing Israeli retaliation as the army tried to extract its undercover agents.