This home was destroyed by Hamas, which fired a direct hit. (Photo: Edi Israel/Flash90) Man surveys damage to his home in Ashkelon during rocket attack Tuesday morning. (Photo: Edi Israel/Flash90)

Israel has agreed to a ceasefire, beginning Tuesday evening, despite a barrage of rockets from Hamas in the afternoon that killed one and injured six.

The prospects for peace between Israel and Hamas had seemed distant on Tuesday morning, as rocket fire into Israel continued unabated. By Tuesday evening, however, reports began to surface regarding claims by Palestinian Authority representatives that a deal would be announced within hours.

Israel was insisting that missile attacks against its civilian population would have to stop before it returns to the negotiating table.

Yet Israel agreed to a ceasefire, beginning at 7 p.m., even though Hamas missiles wounded another seven Israelis in the south in an afternoon attack. One succumbed to his wounds shortly afterwards.

Cabinet Ministers Did Not Vote for Truce

Cabinet ministers were reportedly briefed on the decision to accept the truce but had no opportunity to vote on it. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and Communications Minister Gilad Erdan, among others, opposed the decision, saying that Hamas must be completely defeated.

Retired US General John Allen arrived in Israel Monday night and was scheduled to meet with Israeli officials Tuesday, according to media reports. American diplomats were said to be working on a proposal – using previous drafts by Jordan, the UK, France and Germany as a starting point. A United Nations Security Council resolution allegedly intended to force the issue.

Hamas: ‘A Victory for the Resistance’

The agreement “embodies the resistance of our people and a victory for the resistance,” declared Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official.

It had seemed that despite the nearly 4,000 rockets launched into Israel since the beginning of July – as well as the high physical, psychological and economic price being paid by Israeli civilians – Israel’s Operation Protective Edge was succeeding on all fronts in the war against Hamas.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as government ministers and spokespersons have repeatedly stated that the terrorist organization had been severely weakened.

Goal of IDF Mission Limited

The goal of Operation Protective Edge was the demilitarization and disarming of Hamas in Gaza,” Israeli leaders and government officials have been saying throughout Operation Protective Edge.

Even so, “the purpose of the fighting is not to destroy the last [missile] launcher,” a senior IDF official told Israel Hayom recently. “But rather, it is to convince the other side to say ‘enough.’ It does not matter how much remains in its arsenal.”

Written by: United with Israel Staff

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