More bloodshed expected as prospects of an Israel-Palestine truce 'unrealistic'

Israeli soldiers from the Nahal Infantry Brigade walk across a field near central Gaza Strip Photo: Reuters

Some well-connected Israeli commentators are playing up the prospects of a truce rather than the likelihood of the Gaza conflict ending in war.

Still, the commando raid into northern Gaza shows that Israel is prepared to use ground troops to achieve its ends - and with four injured, it's a small indication of the extra risks in ordering a full incursion.

The diplomatic wheels are beginning to turn with more purpose. The crisis will be discussed on the margins of today's Iran nuclear talks in Vienna, Qatar and Egypt are working on proposals, Tony Blair is scuttling between Jerusalem and Cairo trying to mediate a deal.

Middle East envoy and former Prime Minister Tony Blair Credit: Dennis Van Tine/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

There are no firm proposals put to either side yet. At the UN, we're had only a security council statement, not a full resolution.

Israeli officials are talking optimistically of an agreement which would see the Palestinian Authority take over from Hamas in Gaza and a mechanism for disarming the militants modelled on the methods employed to remove chemical weapons from Syria.

An explosion is seen in the northern Gaza Strip after an Israeli air strike Credit: Reuters

It sounds like an opening negotiating position, not a realistic proposition.

But as the exchange of missiles and rockets continues, my sense is this has some way to run before either side is ready to sign any guarantees. And that means more bloodshed and more terror.

More on this story