Trying to remain positive – US Secretary of State John Kerry left Israel after engaging in truce talks amid reports of some progress.
But there was no sign that either the Israelis or Hamas militants was ready to stop firing at each other.
Kerry admitted there was still some work to be done.
Meanwhile In Doha, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said he was ready to accept a humanitarian truce but not a total ceasefire until Israel agrees to lift its blockade of Gaza.
“Give me the bill, what will be the price? How many Israeli soldiers do you want sent to their mothers in their coffins in order to lift the embargo on Gaza? What will be the cost for lifting the siege?” asked Meshaal at a news conference in Qatar.
Israel is certainly counting the cost – the funeral of one of the 32 soldiers killed so far took place in Jerusalem.
The Israeli army’s losses are its largest suffered in nearly a decade, since the 2006 war in Lebanon.
The government knows most of the country won’t accept a ceasefire unless those deaths lead to the disabling of Hamas’ rocket arsenal.