Having a ceasefire that included military occupation to search for tunnels was never really going to work, was it? Yesterday a 72 hour cease fire was announced by Israel and Hamas, but less than four hours into the cease fire fighting resumed with at least 27 Palestinians dead and 100 injured from an Israeli attack in the town of Rafah after the ceasefire started. Both sides had sent delegates to Egypt in hopes of discussing a more comprehensive peace deal, but those talks appear to be stalled now.

The Gaza Health Ministry reports both tank and artillery fire hit Rafah as the IDF reports a suicide bomber detonated during one of the tunnel clearing operations which killed two Israeli soldiers. An Israeli officer, Lieutenant Goldin, is believed to have been kidnapped during the battle, possibly through one of the tunnels.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman, said the clash near Rafah started around 9:30 a.m., 90 minutes after the cease-fire, brokered by the U.S. and the United Nations, took effect. Palestinians reached by phone said they had heard a resumption of shelling in the area around 8:30.

The fighting cut short the most promising effort yet to halt a conflict now in its 25th day. Militants began firing rockets from Gaza into Israel. Col. Lerner said the cease-fire was over.

The faulty idea that a “ceasefire” can include a provision for an occupying army to stay in an area and continue to carry out operations was put to the test, and failed. A workable cease fire should probably include both sides completely ceasing operations.

The 72 hour cease fire was supposed to provide time for Palestinians in Gaza to bury their dead and obtain provisions as well as give the negotiations in Egypt with Israel and Hamas time to work.