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Operation Protective Edge 2014
Part of the "Gaza–Israel conflict
""The home of the Kware' family, after it was bombed by the military.jpg""Iron Dome in Operation Protective Edge.jpg
(left) A home in Gaza bombed by Israel
(right) "Iron Dome missile defense system in operation
Date 8 July – 26 August 2014 (7 weeks)
Location "Gaza Strip
"Israel
Result

"Victory claimed by both sides[5]

  • According to Israel and Palestinian president Abbas,[6] Hamas was severely weakened and achieved none of its demands[7]
  • According to Hamas, Israel was repelled from Gaza[8]
Belligerents
 "Israel

"Gaza Strip

Commanders and leaders
"Benjamin Netanyahu
("Prime Minister)
"Moshe Ya'alon
("Defense Minister)
"Benny Gantz
("Chief of "General Staff)
"Amir Eshel
("Air Force Commander)
"Ram Rothberg
("Naval Commander)
"Sami Turgeman
("Southern Commander)
"Mickey Edelstein
"Gaza Division
"Yoram Cohen
("Chief of Shin Bet)
"Khaled Mashal
Leader of Hamas
"Ismail Haniyeh
Deputy chief of Hamas
"Mohammed Deif
Head of "Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades
"Ramadan Shalah
Leader of PIJ
Units involved

""Badge of the Israel Defense Forces.svg "Israel Defense Forces

"Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades
"al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
"Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades
"Al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades
"Al-Quds Brigades
Strength
176,500 active personnel
565,000 reservists[9](2012 figures, of which not all are directly involved)

"Al-Qassam Brigades: 20,000[10]–40,000[11]

"Al-Quds Brigades: 8,000[12]
Casualties and losses
67 soldiers and 6 civilians (1 "Thai) killed,[13][14][15] 469 soldiers and 87 civilians wounded[16][17] "Hamas "GHM: 2,310 killed,[a][18] 10,626 wounded[18]
"UN HRC: 2,251 killed [note 1][b][19]
"Israel MFA: 2,125 killed [note 2][c ][20]
At least 23 Gazans executed by Hamas[21]

a 70% civilians[22]
b 65% civilians[19]

c 36% civilians, 44% combatants, 20% uncategorized males aged 16-50[20]

The 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict also known as Operation Protective Edge ("Hebrew: מִבְצָע צוּק אֵיתָן‬, Miv'tza Tzuk Eitan, lit. "Operation Strong Cliff")[note 3] and sometimes referred to as the 2014 Gaza war,[26][27][28] was a military operation launched by "Israel on 8 July 2014 in the "Hamas-ruled "Gaza Strip.[note 4] Following the "kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas members, the "IDF conducted Operation Brother's Keeper to arrest militant leaders, "Hamas "fired rockets into Israel and a seven-week conflict broke out. The "Israeli airstrikes and ground bombardment, the Palestinian rocket attacks and the ground fighting resulted in the death of thousands of people, the vast majority of them Gazans.[14][29]

The stated aim of the Israeli operation was to stop rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, which increased after an Israeli crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank was launched following the 12 June "kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by two "Hamas members.[30][31][32] Conversely, Hamas's goal was to bring international pressure to bear to lift Israel's "blockade of the Gaza Strip, end Israel's offensive, obtain a third party to monitor and guarantee compliance with a ceasefire,[33] release Palestinian prisoners and overcome its political isolation.[34] According to the BBC, in response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, Israel launched air raids on Gaza.[35]

On 7 July, after seven Hamas militants died in a tunnel explosion in "Khan Yunis which was caused by an Israeli airstrike (per Hamas, Nathan Thrall, BBC and a senior IDF official[36]) or an accidental explosion of their own munitions (per the "IDF), Hamas assumed responsibility for rockets fired into Israel and launched 40 rockets towards Israel.[37][38]

The operation officially began the following day, and on 17 July, the operation was expanded to an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza with the stated aim of destroying "Gaza's tunnel system;[39] Israeli ground forces withdrew on 5 August.[40] On 26 August, an open-ended ceasefire was announced.[41] By that date, the IDF reported that "Hamas, "Islamic Jihad and other militant groups had fired 4,564 "rockets and "mortars from Gaza into Israel, with over 735 intercepted in flight and shot down by "Iron Dome. Most Gazan mortar and rocket fire hit open land. More than 280 fell on areas in Gaza,[42][43][44] and 224 struck residential areas.[45][46] Militant rocketry also killed 13 Gazan civilians, 11 of them children.[47][48] The IDF attacked 5,263 targets in Gaza; at least 34 known tunnels were destroyed[45] and two-thirds of Hamas's 10,000-rocket arsenal was used up or destroyed.[49][50]

Between 2,125[20] and 2,310[18] Gazans were killed and between 10,626[18] and 10,895[51] were wounded (including 3,374 children, of whom over 1,000 were left permanently disabled[52]). 66 Israeli soldiers, 5 Israeli civilians (including one child)[53] and one Thai civilian were killed[14] and 469 IDF soldiers and 261 Israeli civilians were injured.[17] Gazan civilian casualty rates estimates range between 70% by the Gaza Health Ministry,[14][22][51] 65% by United Nations Protection Cluster by OCHA (based in part Gaza Health Ministry reports),[19] and 36% by Israeli officials,[54][20] The UN estimated that more than 7,000 homes for 10,000 families were razed, together with an additional 89,000 homes damaged, of which roughly 10,000 were severely affected by the bombing.[55] Rebuilding costs were calculated to run from 4-6 billions dollars, over 20 years.[56] On the Israeli side, the economic impact of the operation is estimated at NIS 8.5 billion (approximately 2.5 billion USD) and GDP loss of 0.4%.[57]

Contents

Background[edit]

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Histogram of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel per day and start of the military operation (in red), 2014

In February 2005 "Israel, the "Palestinian National Authority, "Hamas and "Islamic Jihad committed to a ceasefire, which according to some marks end to the "Second Intifada. However "Palestinian suicide bombings against Israelis continued following the February ceasefire, and other end-dates as well as an indeterminate end period (in 2005) have been proposed by others.[58][59][60]

Concurrent to the Second Intifada, Israeli prime minister "Ariel Sharon proposed the "Israeli disengagement from Gaza in 2003, which was approved by the Israeli government in June 2004, and the "Knesset in February 2005. The unilateral withdrawal plan was executed in August 2005 and completed in September 2005.[61][62] Nonetheless, the "ICRC,[63] the "UN[64] and various human rights organizations[65][66][67] consider Israel still to be the de facto occupying power due to its control of Gaza's borders, air space and territorial waters.[68][69]

The following year (2006) Hamas won "a majority of seats in the Palestinian legislative elections. The outcome disconcerted Israel, the United States and the "Quartet, and they demanded Hamas accept all previous agreements, recognize Israel's right to exist, and renounce violence; when Hamas refused,[70] they "cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority. In mid-2006 "an Israeli soldier was captured by Hamas in a cross-border raid. The United States, in response to "Fatah moves in October 2006 to form a unity government with Hamas, tried to undo the elections by arming Fatah to overthrow Hamas in Gaza.[71][72] In June 2007 Hamas preempted the coup attempt and "took complete power by force.[73][74][75][76][72]

Israel then defined Gaza as a "hostile territory" forming no part of a sovereign state and "put Gaza under a comprehensive economic and political blockade,[77] which also denied access to a third of its arable land and 85% of its fishing areas. It has led to considerable economic damage and humanitarian problems in Gaza.[78][79][80][81] The overwhelming consensus of international institutions is that the blockade is a form of collective punishment and illegal.[82][83][84][85][86] Israel maintains that the blockade is legal and necessary to limit "Palestinian rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip on its cities and to prevent Hamas from obtaining other weapons.[87][88][89][90][91] Israel carried out "Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 with the stated aim of stopping rocket attacks from Hamas militants.[92] It led to a decrease in "Palestinian rocket attacks.[93] The "UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict concluded that the operation was "a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and to provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability".[94] The Israeli government's analysis concludes that the report perverts international law to serve a political agenda and sends a "legally unfounded message to states everywhere confronting terrorism that international law has no effective response to offer them".[95]

First Hamas–Fatah reconciliation (2011)[edit]

Influenced in the "Arab Spring and by demonstrations in "Ramallah and Gaza, the gap between Hamas and Fatah was "bridged in 2011. After the Palestinian president "Mahmoud Abbas declared his willingness to travel to Gaza and sign an agreement, the IDF killed two Hamas activists in Gaza; the IDF stated the killings were in response to the launching of a single Qassam rocket, which hit no one, but "Yedioth Ahronoth's Alex Fishman argued they were a "premeditated escalation" by Israel.[96] In an interview with "CNN, Israeli prime minister "Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the reconciliation talks were calls for Israel's destruction, and strongly opposed the idea of a unity government.[97]

November 2012 ceasefire and its violations[edit]

On 14 November 2012, Israel launched "Operation Pillar of Defence in the Gaza Strip. The operation was preceded by a period with a number of mutual Israeli–Palestinian responsive attacks.[98] According to the Israeli government, the operation began in response to the launch of over 100 rockets at Israel during a 24-hour period,[99] an attack by Gaza militants on an Israeli military patrol jeep within Israeli borders,[100] and an explosion caused by "IEDs, which occurred near Israeli soldiers, on the Israeli side of a tunnel passing under the "Israeli West Bank barrier.[101][102] The Israeli government stated that the aims of the military operation were to halt rocket attacks against civilian targets originating from the Gaza Strip[103] and to disrupt the capabilities of militant organizations.[104] The Palestinians blamed the Israeli government for the upsurge in violence, accusing the IDF of attacks on Gazan civilians in the days leading up to the operation.[105] They cited the "blockade of the Gaza Strip and the occupation of "West Bank, including "East Jerusalem, as the reason for rocket attacks.[106] A week later, on 21 November, Egypt brokered a ceasefire to the conflict which contained the following agreements:[107][108]

  1. Israel should stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air, including incursions and targeting of individuals.
  2. All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel, including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.
  3. The crossings should be opened, facilitating the movement of people and goods; Israel should refrain from restricting residents' movements and from targeting residents in border areas; procedures of implementation should be dealt with 24 hours after the start of the ceasefire.
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"Gaza Strip: access and closure
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A sculpture in "Sderot made from rocket debris

Violations[edit]

Both Israel and Hamas argue that the other violated the "2012 ceasefire agreement, resulting in 1 Israeli and 8 Gazan deaths and 5 Israeli and 66 Gazan injuries. According to the Israeli Security Agency ("Shabak) there was a sharp decrease in attacks from Gaza in 2013.[109] Nevertheless, 63 rockets (average 5 per month) were launched in 36 rocket attacks in addition to various mortar attacks, all prohibited by the November 2012 ceasefire. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)[110] reported monthly Israeli attacks involving drones, missiles, small arms fire and airstrikes. Six of the deaths in Gaza occurred in the border area's Access Restricted Areas (ARAs, non-demarcated zones within Gazan territory unilaterally defined by Israel as being of restricted access), despite the ceasefire's prohibition on Israeli attacks on these areas.[30][110] OCHAO, more broadly sourced data, reported 11 deaths in Gaza and 81 injuries for 2013.[111]

In the first three months after the IDF "Operation Pillar of Defense, according to Ben White, two mortar shells struck Israeli territory, while four Gazans were shot dead and 91 were wounded by Israeli forces who fired inside Gazan territory on 63 occasions, made 13 incursions into the Strip, and attacked the Gazan fishing fleet 30 times.[112] Israeli attacks on Gaza steadily increased during the second half of 2013, notwithstanding the decrease in attacks from Gaza.[113]["not in citation given]

From December 2012 to late June/early July 2014, Hamas did not fire rockets into Israel, and tried to police other groups doing so.[114] These efforts were largely successful; Netanyahu stated in March 2014 that the rocket fire in the past year was the "lowest in a decade."[30][114][115] According to "Shabak, in the first half of 2014 there were 181 rocket attacks[116] compared to 55 rocket attacks in whole 2013.[109]

As occasional rocket fire continued, the blockade of Gaza continued in direct violation of the ceasefire agreement.[117] "Crossings were repeatedly shut and buffer zones were reinstated. Imports declined, exports were blocked, and fewer Gazans were given exit permits to Israel and the West Bank."[30]

Israel halted construction material going to Gaza after it stated that it had discovered a tunnel leading into Israel, some 300 m from a "kibbutz. The IDF said it was the third tunnel discovered that year and that the previous two were packed with explosives.[118]

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Some of the weapons captured in Khan Yunis.

According to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there were 85 rocket attacks in the first five months of 2014.[119] Most of the 85 rockets were fired in March, after the IDF killed 3 members of Islamic Jihad. The members of the PIJ say they were firing rockets in response to an incursion by Israeli tanks and bulldozers into Gazan territory east of the Khan Yunis area.[120][121][122] The IDF said they were conducting routine military patrols near the Gaza border when they came under fire, and thus responded with airstrikes.[123][124]

Second Hamas–Fatah reconciliation[edit]

Leading up to the collapse of the "2013–14 Israeli–Palestinian peace talks, in the face of Netanyahu's perceived reluctance to make desired concessions, "Mahmoud Abbas decided to forge a deal with Hamas.[125] With its alliance with Syria and Iran weakened, the "loss of power by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt after a coup d’ètat in Egypt, and the economic impact of the closure of its Rafah tunnels by "Abdel Fattah el-Sisi,[125] on 23 April 2014, ending seven divisive years, Hamas agreed to reconciliation under a unity government with the other main Palestinian faction, "Fatah.[126][127] The government accepted by Hamas was to be run exclusively by PNA technocrats.[125]

This "Palestinian unity government was sworn in by 2 June 2014[128][129] and Israel announced it would not negotiate any peace deal with the new government and would push punitive measures.[130] Netanyahu took Palestinian unity as a threat rather than an opportunity.[125][131] On the eve of the agreement he stated that the proposed reconciliation would "strengthen terrorism", and called on the international community to avoid embracing it.[132] Most of the outside world, including the European Union, Russia, China, India, Turkey, France and the United Kingdom, proved cautiously optimistic, and subsequently expressed their support for new arrangement. The United States, more skeptical, announced it would continue to work with the PNA-directed unity government.[133] Israel itself suspended negotiations with the PNA[134] and, just after[135] the announcement, launched an airstrike, which missed its target and wounded a family of three bystanders.[129][136] Netanyahu had warned before the deal that it would be incompatible with Israeli–Palestinian peace and that Abbas had to choose between peace with Hamas and peace with Israel. When a reconciliation deal was signed, opening the way to the appointment of the new government, Netanyahu chaired a security cabinet which voted to authorise Netanyahu to impose unspecified sanctions against the Palestinian Authority.[129]

On 4 June, the day before "Naksa Day, the Israeli Housing and Construction Ministry published tenders for 1,500 settlement units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in a move Minister Uri Ariel said was an "appropriate Zionist response to the Palestinian terror government."[137][138] "Marwan Bishara, senior political analyst at "Al Jazeera, alleged that Israel had hoped to disrupt the "Palestinian national unity government between Fatah and Hamas by its operation.[139]

Immediate events[edit]

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Street in "Ramallah after an IDF raid during Operation Brother's Keeper, June 2014["citation needed]
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Factory bursts in flames after rocket attack in "Sderot, Israel, 28 June 2014[140]

On 12 June 2014, "three Israeli teenagers were abducted in the West Bank: Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrah. Israel blamed "Hamas, with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that he had "unequivocal proof" that Hamas was involved and that the abduction was linked to Palestinian reconciliation,[125] and the IDF stated that the two men Israel suspected of having kidnapped the teenagers were known members of Hamas.[141][142] No evidence of Hamas involvement was offered by Israeli authorities at the time.[30][125][143] High-ranking members of Hamas denied the group had any involvement in the incident,[144] and ex-"Shin Bet chief "Yuval Diskin doubted Hamas had any involvement.[131] The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank attributed the abductions to the "Qawasameh clan, notorious for acting against Hamas's policies and any attempts to reach an entente with Israel.[145] Hamas political chief Khaled Meshal said he could neither confirm nor deny the kidnapping of the three Israelis, but congratulated the abductors.[146] The kidnappings were condemned by human rights organizations.[147][148] Documents released by Israel suggest that Hamas member Hussam Qawasmeh organized the kidnappings with $60,000 provided by his brother Mahmoud through a Hamas association in Gaza, after requesting support for a "military operation".[149] On 20 August, Saleh al-Arouri, an exiled Hamas leader based in Turkey, claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens: "Our goal was to ignite an intifada in the West Bank and Jerusalem, as well as within the 1948 borders... Your brothers in the "Al-Qassam Brigades carried out this operation to support their imprisoned brothers, who were on a hunger strike... The "mujahideen captured these settlers in order to have a swap deal."[150] Palestinian security forces said the kidnappings were organized by Saleh al-Arouri.[151] Khalid Meshaal, head in exile of Hamas's political wing since 2004, acknowledged that Hamas members were responsible, but stated that its political leaders had no prior knowledge of the abduction, were not involved in military details and learnt of it through the ensuing Israeli investigations. He also said that while Hamas was opposed to targeting civilians, he understood that Palestinians "frustrated with oppression" were exercising a "legitimate right of resistance" against the occupation by undertaking such operations.[152][153][154][155] Israel states that the IDF and the Shin Bet have foiled between 54[156] and 64 kidnapping plots since 2013. The PA said it had foiled 43 of them.[157]

Withholding evidence in its possession suggesting that the teens had been killed immediately until 1 July,[125][158][159] Israel launched "Operation Brother's Keeper, a large-scale crackdown of what it called Hamas's terrorist infrastructure and personnel in the West Bank,[160] ostensibly aimed at securing the release of the kidnapped teenagers. During the operation, 11 Palestinians were killed and 51 wounded in 369 Israeli incursions into the West Bank through to 2 July,[161][162][163][164][165][166] and between 350 and 600 Palestinians,[144][162][167][168] including nearly all of Hamas's West Bank leaders,[169][170][171] were arrested.[172][173][174] Among those arrested were many people who had only recently been freed under the terms of the "Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange.[175] Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner defended the arrests, stating that Hamas members had carried out 60 abduction attempts on Israelis in the West Bank "in the last year and a half", and that "Hamas does not need to give a direct order."[176] The arrests yielded no information about the abduction.[125] "Amnesty International and "Human Rights Watch stated that certain aspects of the operation amounted to collective punishment,[177][178] and B'tselem said in a press release that the actions have caused "disproportionate harm to the basic rights of Palestinians".[179] During the course of the operation, Israel said it had uncovered a Hamas plot to launch a massive wave of violence throughout the West Bank, with the goal of overthrowing the Palestinian Authority. The purported coup plotters were arrested and their weapons stockpiles were seized[180][181]

On 30 June, search teams found the bodies of the three missing teenagers near Hebron.[182][183][184] After their burial, an anti-Arab riot broke out, and a "Palestinian teenager was murdered in revenge. His killing sparked Arab rioting.[185][186] Israel police arrested six suspects belonging to the "Beitar Jerusalem F.C. supporters' group "La Familia[187][188] and charged three of them with murder.[189][190]

As part of its crackdown and concurrent to rocket fire from Gaza, Israel conducted air strikes against Hamas facilities in the Gaza Strip. Hamas apparently refrained from retaliating, though it did not impede other factions from firing rockets towards Israel.[125] From 1 May to 11 June, six rockets and three mortar shells were launched from Gaza towards Israel. From 12 to 30 June 44 rockets and 3 mortar shells were launched from Gaza. On 29 June, an Israeli airstrike on a rocket crew killed a Hamas operative, while at least 18 rockets were launched from Gaza through the next day by Hamas according to both "J.J. Goldberg and Assaf Sharon,[125] with Goldberg stating that it was the first time Hamas directly launched rockets since the conflict in 2012.[158] Overnight, on 30 June – 1 July, Israeli airstrikes struck 34 Gaza targets in what officials stated was a response to the Sunday rocketry,[191] while Stuart Greer reported the strikes were revenge for the deaths of the three youths.[192] From the day of the abductions on 12 June through 5 July 117 rockets were launched from Gaza and there were approximately 80 Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.[193][194]

Israel sought a ceasefire but refused to accept Hamas's condition that Palestinians arrested in the West Bank crackdown be released.[125] In a meeting held on 2 July to discuss the crisis, Hamas reportedly tried but failed to persuade armed factions in Gaza to uphold the truce with Israel.[195] Following escalating rocket fire from Gaza, Israel issued a warning on 4 July that it "would only be able to sustain militant rocket fire for another 24, or maximum 48, hours before undertaking a major military offensive."[196] Hamas declared it was prepared to halt the rocket fire in exchange for an agreement by Israel to stop airstrikes. Netanyahu said Israel would only act against further rocket attacks.[197] On 5 July, Hamas official Osama Hamdan said rocket fire would continue until Israel lifted its import restrictions on Gaza and the Palestinian Authority transferred money to pay Hamas civil servants.[198] Between 4 and 6 July, a total of 62 rockets were fired from Gaza and the IAF attacked several targets in Gaza.[199][200][201] The following day, Hamas assumed formal responsibility for launching rocket attacks on Israel.[30] Hamas increased rocket attacks on Israel,[117] and by 7 July had fired 100 rockets from Gaza at Israeli territory; at the same time, the "Israeli Air Force had bombed several sites in Gaza.[202][203][204] Early on 8 July, the IAF bombed 50 targets in the Gaza Strip.[205] Israel's military also stopped a militant infiltration from the sea.[205] Brigadier General Moti Almoz, the chief spokesman of the Israeli military, said: "We have been instructed by the political echelon to hit Hamas hard."[114] Hamas insisted that Israel end all attacks on Gaza, release those re-arrested during the crackdown in the West Bank, lift the blockade on Gaza and return to the cease-fire conditions of 2012 as conditions for a ceasefire.[206]

Operation timeline[edit]

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Israeli residents of "Ashkelon run for shelter during a rocket alert
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IDF-released map of rocket launch sites in Gaza
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Israeli troops and tanks near the Gaza border

Phase 1: Air strikes[edit]

As the Israeli operation began, and the IDF bombarded targets in the Gaza Strip with artillery and airstrikes, Hamas continued to fire rockets and mortar shells into Israel in response. A "cease-fire proposal was announced by the Egyptian government on 14 July, backed by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas;[207] the Israeli government accepted it and temporarily stopped hostilities on the morning of 15 July, but Hamas rejected it in "its current form", citing the fact Hamas has not been consulted in the formation of the ceasefire and it omitted many of their demands.[208][209] By 16 July, the death toll within Gaza had surpassed 200 people.[210]

Phase 2: Ground invasion[edit]

On 16 July, Hamas and "Islamic Jihad offered the Israeli government a 10-year "truce with ten conditions centred on the lifting of the blockade and the release of prisoners who were released in the "Gilad Shalit prisoner swap and were re-arrested; it was not accepted.[211][212] On 17 July, a five-hour humanitarian "ceasefire, proposed by the UN, took place. Approximately five and a half hours prior to the ceasefire's effect, the IDF sighted 13 armed Hamas militants emerging from a Gazan tunnel on the Israeli side of the Gaza border. IDF destroyed the tunnel's exit, ending the incursion.[213][214] After the ceasefire, IDF began a ground offensive on the Gaza Strip focused on destroying "tunnels crossing the Israel border. On 20 July, the Israeli military entered "Shuja'iyya, a populous neighborhood of "Gaza City, resulting in "heavy fighting.

On 24 July, over 10,000 Palestinians in the West Bank protested against the Israeli operation; 2 Palestinian protesters died.[215] 150 Hamas militants who surrendered to the IDF were being questioned about Hamas operations.[216] On 25 July, an Israeli airstrike killed Salah Abu Hassanein, the leader of Islamic Jihad's military wing.[217] On 26 July, another humanitarian ceasefire took place for twelve hours,[218] followed by a unilateral extension by Israel for another twenty-four hours, which was rejected by Hamas.[219] The Palestinian death toll in the Gaza Strip topped 1,000.[220]

On 1 August, the US and UN announced that Israel and Palestine had agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire starting at 08:00. There was dispute about the terms of the ceasefire: Israel and the US stated that they allowed Israel to "continue to do operations to destroy tunnels that pose a threat to Israeli territory that lead from the Gaza Strip into Israel proper as long as those tunnels exist on the Israel side of their lines"; Hamas said that it would not accept such a condition.[221][222] The ceasefire broke down almost immediately after it started. Israel blamed Hamas for violating the ceasefire, saying a group of Israeli soldiers were attacked by Palestinian militants emerging from a tunnel.[223] Palestinians said the IDF was the first to breach the ceasefire when at 08:30 it destroyed 19 buildings while undertaking work to demolish tunnels.[222] According to the "PLO, the "Palestinian Authority and Gazan sources, Hamas attacked an Israeli unit, killing an Israeli officer (Hadar Goldin, who was initially thought to have been captured) while Israeli forces were still engaged in military activities in "Rafah on Gaza's territory before the truce came into effect. Tweets reported the battle in Rafah before the deadline for the cease-fire.[222] Hamas also killed two soldiers in a "suicide bombing attack.[224] Senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk accused Israel of creating pretexts to undermine the Gaza ceasefire and said that Palestinian fighters abducted the officer and killed the two soldiers before the start of the humanitarian truce,[225] which a Hamas witness has stated began at 7:30 and lasted five minutes,[226] while Israel said the event took place at 09:20, after the 08:00 start of the ceasefire.[227][228][229]

Phase 3: Withdrawal of Israeli troops[edit]

On 3 August, IDF pulled most of its ground forces out of the Gaza Strip after completing the destruction of 32 tunnels built by Hamas and other militants.[40][230][231] On 5 August, Israel announced that it had arrested Hossam Kawasmeh on 11 July, and suspected him of having organized the killing of the three teenagers. According to court documents, Kawasmeh stated that Hamas members in Gaza financed the recruitment and arming of the killers.[232][233]

On 10 August, another Egyptian proposal for a 72-hour ceasefire was negotiated and agreed upon Israeli and Palestinian officials, and on 13 August it was extended for another 120 hours to allow both sides to continue negotiations for a long-term solution to end the month-long fighting.[234] On 19 August, a 24-hour ceasefire extension renewal was violated just hours after agreement with 29 Hamas rockets fired in 20 minutes, with IAF airstrikes in response, killing 9 Gazans. The Israeli delegation was ordered home from Cairo.[235]

On 21 August, an Israeli airstrike in Rafah killed three of Hamas's top commanders: Mohammed Abu Shammala, "Raed al Atar and Mohammed Barhoum.[236] During the period from 22 to 26 August, over than 700 rockets and mortar shells fired into Israel, killing 3 Israelis. On 26 August, Israel and Hamas accepted another cease-fire at 19:00.[237]

Result and post-conflict events[edit]

On 16 September, Mortar shell fired to Israel for the first time since the cease-fire. Citizens worried that the fighting would resume with the Gaza Strip at the beginning of the new year ("Rosh Hashanah). Defense Minister, "Moshe Ya’alon estimated that fighting would not resume with the Gaza Strip at the end of this month.[238] Abbas call for UNSC resolution to end Mideast conflict. Hollande, French president show supported in his effort.[239] On Tuesday, 20 September, negotiations between Israel and Gaza will begin in Cairo.[240]

According to Palestinians on 1 October, Israeli forces entered the Gaza Strip and fired upon Palestinian farmers and farms. No injuries were reported.[241][242][243]

IDF reported that on 31 October a rocket or a mortar shell was launched from Gaza into southern Israel without causing harm.[244]

On 23 November, a Palestinian farmer was shot dead in Gaza, marking the first time a Palestinian from Gaza had been killed by Israeli fire since a seven-week war between Israel and Hamas militants ended with an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire on 26 August. The Israeli army said two Palestinians had approached the border fence and had ignored calls to halt, prompting troops to fire warning shots in the air. "Once they didn't comply, they fired towards their lower extremities. There was one hit," a spokeswoman said.[245]

Impact[edit]

On Gaza residents[edit]

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A map showing the location of damage in Gaza[246]
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Ruins of buildings in "Beit Hanoun, August 2014
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Five-year-old Shaymaa al-Masri was injured on 9 July 2014.[247]

As of 20 July 2014, hospitals in Gaza were ill-equipped and faced severe shortages of various kinds of medicine, medical supplies, and fuel.[248] Egypt temporarily reopened the Rafah crossing with Gaza to allow medical supplies to enter and injured Palestinians to receive treatment in Egypt.[249] Due to the operation, prices of food, including fish and produce, rose dramatically.[250] A 21 July news report stated that over 83,000 Palestinians had taken shelter in UN facilities.[251] Fatah officials accused Hamas of mishandling humanitarian aid meant for civilians. According to them, Hamas took the aid, which included clothing, mattresses, medicine, water, and food, and distributed it among Hamas members or sold it on the black market for profit.[252][253]

According to the "United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), over 273,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip had been displaced as of 31 July 2014, of whom 236,375 (over eleven percent of the Gazan population) were taking shelter in 88 UNRWA schools. UNRWA exhausted its capacity to absorb displaced persons, and overcrowding in shelters risked the outbreak of epidemics. 1.8 million people were affected by a halt or reduction of the water supply, 138 schools and 26 health facilities[254][255][256] were damaged, 872 homes were totally destroyed or severely damaged, and the homes of 5,005 families were damaged but still inhabitable. Throughout the Gaza Strip, people received only 2 hours of electricity per day. Power outage had an immediate effect on the public health situation and reduced water and sanitation services, with hospitals becoming dependent on generators. On 2 September, UNRWA reported that 58,217 people were sheltering in 31 of their school buildings, a fifth of their buildings.[257]

OCHA estimated that at least 373,000 children required "psychosocial support.[14] "Intense overcrowding, compounded by the limited access of humanitarian staff to certain areas, is increasingly undermining the living conditions at many shelters and raising protection concerns. Water supply has been particularly challenging..."[258] More than 485,000 "internally displaced persons were in need of emergency food assistance.[254]

Gaza City, home to 500,000, suffered damage to 20-25% of its housing. "Beit Hanoun, with 70% of its housing stock damaged, is considered uninhabitable, with 30,000 residents there in need of accommodation. The only power station in the Strip was damaged on 29 July, and the infrastructure of power transmission lines and sewage pumps was severely damaged, with a major sewage pipe catering to 500,000 badly damaged. Among the infrastructure targeted and destroyed by Israel's bombing campaign were 220 factories in various industrial zones, including a major carpentry enterprise, construction companies, a major biscuit factory, dairy farms and livestock, a candy manufacturer, the orange groves of Beit Hanoun, Gaza's largest mosques, and several TV stations. Farms, as a consequence of damage or the presence of unexploded ordnance dropped during the conflict, are often inaccessible, and the damage to agriculture was estimated at over $200 million. 10 out of 26 hospitals closed.[259][260][261]

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, 203 mosques were damaged during the war, with 73 being destroyed completely.[262] Two of Gaza's three Christian churches were also damaged, with the third suffering some damage to peripheral buildings owned by the parish.[262] In the light of the damage to mosques, Manuel Musallam informed Muslims they could call their prayers from Christian churches.[263] In contrast to Operation Pillar of Defensive, which did not damage a single mosque, Israel maintained that Hamas had a routine military use of mosques and that made them legitimate military targets. According to the IDF, 160 rockets were launched from mosques during the war.[264][265] It also stated that mosques were used for weapon storage, tunnel entrances, training and gathering of militants.[266][267] In one Associated Press report, residents denied that mosques damaged by Israeli forces had been used for military purposes.[268]

The UN calculated that more than 7,000 homes for 10,000 families were razed, together with an additional 89,000 homes damaged, of which roughly 10,000 were severely affected by the bombing.[55] Rebuilding costs were calculated to run from 4-6 billions dollars, over 20 years.[56]

On Israeli residents[edit]

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A kindergarten in central Israel during a rocket attack.[269]
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One of the shelter signs that were placed in the "Ben Gurion Airport because of the rocket attacks on Israel.[45]

Hamas and other Islamist groups in Gaza fired rockets and mortars at Israeli towns and villages. Despite Israel's use of the Iron Dome missile defense systems, six civilians were killed, including an Arab Israeli and a "Thai civilian worker.[270] An Israeli teen was seriously injured in a rocket strike in the city of Ashkelon.[271] Medical health professionals have noted that Israeli teens prone to mental health problems suffer increasingly during both short-term and long-term conflicts. Experts have identified a number of mental health symptoms which rise during conflict, including anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, interpersonal sensitivity, phobias, and paranoia. There is some doubt whether these issues will dissipate after the conflict is resolved.[272]

Rocket attacks from Gaza caused damage to Israeli civilian infrastructure, including factories, gas stations, and homes.[273]

At the onset of the operation, the Israeli government canceled all programs within 40 km (24 miles) of Gaza, and requested all people stay at home or near shelter. All summer camps were closed and universities canceled their final exams.[274] Additionally, all gatherings of 300 or more people were banned.[275] Due to the trajectory of rocket fire from Gaza, many flights in and out of "Ben-Gurion Airport were delayed or rerouted.[276] and flights to Ben-Gurion airport "were interrupted for some days after a Hamas rocket struck an area in its vicinity.[277] Hamas called the FAA flight ban a "great victory".[278] "Michael Ross wrote that the decision was driven by anxiety and caused considerably more damage than the potential danger it prevented.[279]

About 4,600 claims for direct damage and 28,000 for indirect damage such as missed work days were submitted to Israel's Tax Authority, which paid ₪133 million for direct damage and ₪1.51 billion for indirect damage.[45][280][281]

The Bedouin communities in the Negev, living in many habitations built illegally and unrecognised by the Israeli government, were classified as "open areas" and so their 200,000 residents did not have warning sirens or anti-rocket protection.[282]

In Israel, an estimated 5,000[283] to 8,000[284] citizens temporarily fled their homes due to the threat of rocketry from Gaza.[283] The economic cost of the operation is estimated at NIS 8.5 billion (approximately 2.5 billion USD) and GDP loss of 0.4%.[57] At the conclusion of hostilities 3,000-3,700 claims for damages had been submitted by Israelis, and $41 million paid out for property damage and missed work days.[45] Reconstruction costs were estimated at approximately $11 million.[285]

Casualties and losses[edit]

Palestinian[edit]

Reports of casualties in the conflict have been made available by a variety of sources. Most media accounts have used figures provided by the government in Gaza or non-governmental organizations.[286]

Current reports of the proportion of those killed who were civilians/militants are incomplete, and real-time errors, intentional data manipulation, and diverse methodologies produce notable variations in various sides' figures.[287][288][289] For example, the Hamas-run Interior Ministry has issued instructions for activists to always refer to casualties as "innocent civilians" or "innocent citizens" in internet posts.[290][291] However, "B'Tselem has stated that after the various groups finish their investigations, their figures are likely to end up about the same.[292] UNICEF and the Gaza Health Ministry reported that from 8 July to 2 August 296–315 Palestinian children died due to Israeli action, and 30% of civilian casualties were children;[293][294] by 27 August, the total number of children killed had risen to 495[14]–578,[29] according to "OCHA and the Gaza Health Ministry. In March 2015, OCHA reported that 2,220 Palestinians had been killed, of whom 1,492 were civilians (551 children and 299 women), 605 militants and 123 of unknown status.[295] According to "ITIC, 48.7% of the identified casualties were militants[54] and in some cases children and women participated in military operations.[296]

According to the main estimates between 2,125[20] and 2,310[18] Gazans were killed and between 10,626[18] and 10,895[51] were wounded (including 3,374 children, of whom over 1,000 were left permanently disabled[297]). 66 Israeli soldiers, 5 Israeli civilians (including one child)[298] and one Thai civilian were killed[14] and 469 IDF soldiers and 261 Israeli civilians were injured.[17] The Gaza Health Ministry, UN