Israel remains helpless in the face of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.
The government granted work permits to the Strip's merchants, expanded the fishing zone, allowed the cash to flow from Qatar - and even dispatched senior officials to Doha to ensure that it did - but all to no avail.
The Gaza factions continued their campaign against Israel using inexpensive rockets that cost massive amounts of money to counter.
How exactly has Israel arrived at this juncture? How has this military superpower, in comparison to the terror groups, become so helpless?
One explanation is that the free world only calls out Hamas when Israel is under fire, but as soon as Jerusalem decides to respond militarily the condemnations immediately do an about-face.
Defeating Islamic terror is considered legitimate anywhere else in the world, but what the United States and NATO can do, Israel cannot - even when fighting a racist jihadist group that controls the entire Gaza Strip.
Jerusalem simply cannot ignore international pressure. It could not do so in 2006, during the Second Lebanon War against the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, and not in 2009 and 2014 against Hamas in Gaza.
As soon as images depicting the aftermath of Israeli raids appeared on media outlets, demands for a cessation of hostilities began.
Hamas can take credit for Israel's inability to defeat it once and for all. The West is ignorant of the true face of the Palestinian terror group.
It is an anti-Semitic organization that calls for the destruction of Jews; its official media outlet teaches children about the need to kill Jews.
Meanwhile, its religious leaders call for Rome to be captured in the interest of Islamic hegemony, much as the Islamic State ideology prescribed.
Some progressive writers have contended that firing rockets and missiles into Israeli communities is an effort by Palestinians to remind the world of the wrongs committed against them. Some have even called Israel's response to attacks an act of state terrorism.
These writers are propagandists in the service of Hamas and are defeating Israel in the battle for public opinion.
Any future Israeli military action against the terror groups in Gaza will likely meet the same condemnation and the IDF will be stopped as soon as the first brutal images of war appear.
This is the Gaza trap Israel has not yet been able to sidestep.