Sunset at the Leonardo Hotel Ashkelon’s pool.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
It was only 72 hours, but those three days of cease-fire between Israel and Hamas felt like another world.
Especially in the South, but all over the country, we rubbed our weary eyes, and tentatively peaked our heads outside to discover... quiet.
We woke up after a month-long nightmare of sirens, rockets and funerals, and very quickly returned to normal.
The army told residents of the South who had fled the rockets and the Hamas terror tunnels that they could return to their homes. The cafes along the Ashkelon beach were bustling like they should have been all summer and at a wedding near Gedera Wednesday night, 300 people danced and drank without a Code Red even in the back of their minds.
What a display of Israeli resilience. How hopeful and confident we were that this operation was a thing of the past.
The negotiating teams for Israel and the Palestinians were in Cairo working on extending the 72-hour truce into a longer agreement with parameters that would secure Israel against Hamas aggression and begin to offer the people the Gaza some hope for a normal life.
Hamas was devastated by the 29 days of Operation Protective Edge, they needed time to lick their wounds, regroup and decide their next steps – we thought.
We woke up Friday morning to discover how wrong we were.
Like the knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail who has his limbs slashed away but insists it’s just a “flesh wound,” a crippled Hamas decided to resume its rocket attacks on Israel. But this is no slapstick movie scene.
Hamas has decided that this war isn’t quite over, and now we’re waiting for the Israeli leadership to unveil its own plan to end it.
In the meantime, while we stay close to our shelters – we can longingly look back on memories of 72 hours of carefree summer that we managed to steal when the skies fell quiet.