The US-Egyptian brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip seems to be holding, but few people think it will last long. At best, the agreement gives both sides time to prepare for the next round of confrontation, without addressing the root causes of the conflict (see previous post).
Hamas is feeling triumphant, after resisting an Israeli onslaught and firing (fairly inaccurate) rockets at Tel Aviv. But there's no real winners, certainly not among more than 170 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire (compared to six Israeli casualties).
Hamas is still far from having an effective deterrent to future Israeli attacks. Israeli Defense Force, on the other hand, has not removed the rocket threat to Israeli towns, something that could only be achieved through a prolonged and bloody battle on the ground - which remains a possibility after the elections in Israel in January 2013.
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For the US role in the recent crisis see analysis by Steve Jones, About.com Guide on US Foreign Policy.
Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images.