There's been a whole lot of cognitive dissonance going on in the Middle East on Sunday, as violence — and the death toll — continues to escalate despite reported efforts by both sides to reach a ceasefire. Today, an Israeli strike in Gaza City aimed at a militant allegedly involved in rocket attacks against Israel killed 12 Palestinians. According to a Palestinian health official, the 12 dead included five women and four children, and the Israeli Defense Force admitted that the targeted Hamas commander was not injured.
That incident came just hours before an Israeli envoy arrived in Cairo to speak with Egyptian intelligence chief Mohammed Shehata, who is the central figure trying to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. According to a Hamas official, the two sides have agreed on 90 percent of the terms of the propose ceasefire, though it would be hard to tell based on comments made on Sunday by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who warned of a "significant expansion of the operation."
President Barack Obama, speaking from Bangkok, said that the United States is "fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself." On Sunday, Israel's Iron Dome defense system intercepted two rockets fired from Gaza into Tel Aviv.