The latest flare-up in Gaza began because of Israel's perceived mistreatment of the body of an Islamic Jihad militant killed trying to lay a bomb at the border fence. And it only ended when the Islamic Jihad said it ended.
In the entire cycle of violence, which began Sunday morning and ended with Egyptian mediation on Monday night, Israel took no initiatives and can claim no achievements.
In less than 48 hours, some 100 rockets were fired at Israeli civilians from Gaza.
The IDF in return only targeted one rocket launching cell, wounding four, while all the other squads moved about untouched.
In comparison, the previous round of fighting of just a few months ago ended with the deaths of 26 militants, mostly from those same launching squads.
The IDF appears to have a very limited list of Islamic Jihad targets. Most of the Air Force strikes over the last couple of days repeatedly targeted the same few bases affiliated with the organization.
The final IAF raids targeted a number of observation towers along the Gaza border fence, and although they are legitimate targets, they are far from worthy of the "special announcement" put out by the IDF.
An observation tower is no more than a shack with a ladder on a hill overlooking the border. The army did not hit any other significant targets that could have compromised the terror group in any way.
There will likely be much boasting in the next day or two that Israel successfully kept Hamas out of the fighting for the second time in months.
But in reality, Hamas was given a free pass by Israel even though it did nothing to stop Islamic Jihad militants from placing explosive devices meant to kill Israeli troops near the border nor did it stop its sharpshooters from targeting soldiers.
Suddenly the government has stopped its long-standing proclamations that Hamas, as rulers of the Gaza Strip. must be held responsible for the aggressive acts of all other terror factions in the enclave.
Perhaps if Hamas were held to that standard, the latest cycle of violence could have been averted. But instead it seems the next round of fighting is closer than ever.
That withstanding, Israel's decision to hit Islamic Jihad targets in Syria on Sunday night is to be commended. The group's leadership in Damascus must no longer feel that they are immune from Israeli retaliation.