At first the Israeli government accepted the ceasefire proposed by Egypt. The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said it offered an opportunity to clear out rockets from the Gaza Strip.

The plan called for both sides to end all hostilities. That meant Israel would have to stop its air strikes and refrain from staging a ground invasion. In return, all Palestinian factions would have to stop firing rockets into Israel.

The proposed ceasefire also called for border crossings to open once the security situation stabilised, and for talks on a long-term truce to be held in Cairo within 48 hours.

But Hamas says it was not involved in any negotiations over any truce. 

So, is a ceasefire still possible? Or will there be a further escalation in the violence?

Presenter: Folly Bah Thibault

Guests:  

Joseph Kechichian, a political analyst

Gregg Roman, former adviser in the Israeli knesset, and a former official at the Israeli ministry of defence.

Azzam Tamimi, the director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought. Azzam is also author of "Hamas: Unwritten Chapters". 

In Pictures

Source: Al Jazeera