After weeks of rising tensions following the killing of three Israeli teenagers and the apparent revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager, Israel began a major offensive against Hamas in Gaza on July 8. After 16 days of fighting, at least 687 Palestinians and 34 Israelis have died.
Day 16 July 23, 2014
Palestinians: 71 deaths – Israelis: 5 deaths
Secretary of State John Kerry conducted a whirlwind tour of diplomacy, holding intensive talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel after having met in the occupied West Bank with the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas. But for the moment, the prospects for a cease-fire seemed remote. The intensified diplomacy came as Israel reported three more Israeli soldiers were killed in Gaza, bringing the total to 32; a foreign laborer was also felled by a rocket that hit farmland near the city of Ashkelon in the afternoon, the third civilian casualty on the Israeli side. The Gaza-based Health Ministry put the Palestinian death toll at 661 and 4,120 wounded. The deaths included more than 132 children, 66 women, and 36 elderly men. Above, two brothers grieve their father who was killed after shelling in Khan Younis.
Day 15 July 22, 2014
Palestinians: 52 deaths – Israelis: 2 deaths
On Tuesday, Israeli officials confirmed that one of their soldiers, Sgt. Oron Shaul, 21, has been missing in Gaza since Sunday and said they were trying to determine whether he had been captured or had died in combat. Israel’s bombardment of Gaza persisted from the air and sea, and artillery shelling could be heard into the night. Rocket fire from Gaza into Israel continued and major American airlines halted flights to Israel after a rocket fell near Ben-Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv. Above, the funeral of Sgt. First Class Tal Yifrah, an Israeli soldier.
Day 14 July 21, 2014
Palestinians: 116 deaths – Israelis: 7 deaths
Diplomatic pressure for a cease-fire mounted as the Palestinian death toll topped 500 and the number of Israeli soldiers killed hit 25. Four Israeli soldiers and 10 Palestinian militants were killed inside Israeli territory after armed gunmen from the Gaza Strip infiltrated through two tunnels. Above, Palestinian men bury members of the Abu Jamei family, a number of whom were among the 26 people killed in an overnight air strike in Khan Younis.
Day 13 July 20, 2014
Palestinians: 122 deaths – Israelis: 15 deaths
The Israeli offensive spread through Gaza in what was for both sides the deadliest day so far in the war. Most of the Palestinians were killed in Shejaiya, a Gaza City neighborhood that Israeli military officials called a fortified town of tunnels and rocket launchers. The Palestinian government called the killings of Palestinian civilians there a “heinous massacre.” Above, Israeli soldiers were evacuated at an army deployment area near Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, while during a brief cease-fire Sunday afternoon ambulance workers and locals in Shejaiya carried out the dead and wounded.
Day 12 July 19, 2014
Palestinians: 50 deaths – Israelis: 3 deaths
The United Nations said the fighting in the last 24 hours resulted in the highest death toll in one day since the conflict began. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been forced to flee their homes. Above, displaced Palestinians take refuge at a school run by the United Nations. Two Israeli soldiers were killed when Hamas militants slipped into Israel through a tunnel and attacked a border patrol. A rocket fired from Gaza killed an Israeli in a Bedouin village near Dimona.
Day 11 July 18, 2014
Palestinians: 54 deaths – Israelis: 1 death
1 On the first day of a ground assault, Israel said the incursion was to be limited, focusing on tunnels into its territory like this one, used for a predawn attack Thursday.2 Troops operated mainly in farmland within a mile of Gaza’s edges, and said they uncovered more than 20 tunnel exit points.3 At least nine people were killed here, including four members of a family.4 Residents said bulldozers were leveling fields planted with crops.5 Some staff members at Shifa Hospital have worked nearly nonstop for 11 days.6 Israeli airstrikes continued, and an F-16 hit a villa.7 Apache helicopters targeted an apartment building. 8 An airstrike killed three siblings in their bedroom.9 Israeli Staff Sgt. Eitan Barak was killed in the first hours of the offensive, possibly by friendly fire.10 About a mile into Israel, dozens of Israeli tanks were parked in fields, with soldiers on standby.
Day 10 July 17, 2014
Palestinians: 21 deaths – Israelis: 0 deaths
Israel began a ground invasion into the Gaza Strip, saying it would target tunnels that extend into its territory. Residents reported heavy artillery fire from ground troops in the north and from Israeli naval gunboats near Gaza’s port, and the sound of tanks entering northern Gaza Strip. The invasion came after the Palestinian death toll neared 250, and scores of rockets from Gaza continued to stream into cities in central and southern Israel. Above, Israeli soldiers stand near the southern Israeli border with the Gaza Strip.
Day 9 July 16, 2014
In Gaza: 176 targets struck by Israel – 25 deaths
In Israel – 132 rockets launched from Gaza – 0 deaths
Four young Palestinian boys were killed in Gaza when two explosions hit a jetty and beach where they were playing. Witnesses and officials said the cause was an Israeli naval or aerial attack. The boys were cousins in an extended family of fishermen who kept their boats at the fishing port of Gaza City. The first explosion left a small shack burning on the jetty. Several boys could be seen fleeing along the beach. A second blast came about 30 seconds later. When the dust cleared, three figures lay motionless on the sand. A fourth was found in the charred ruins of the shack on the jetty.
Day 8 July 15, 2014
In Gaza: 96 targets struck by Israel – 10 deaths
In Israel: 156 rockets launched from Gaza – 1 death
Egypt’s proposal for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas collapsed a few hours after the Israelis had accepted it. Palestinian militants launched rockets on Israel, some of which are shown above, and Israel resumed its airstrikes on Gaza. An Israeli civilian was killed near the Erez crossing into Gaza — the first Israeli fatality in the eight-day-old military confrontation.
Day 7 July 14, 2014
In Gaza: 163 targets struck by Israel – 16 deaths
In Israel: 115 rockets launched from Gaza – 0 deaths
Israel and Hamas weighed an Egyptian cease-fire proposal, but there was no letup in the violence. Israel continued to bomb targets in Gaza, and Hamas launched more rockets into Israel. One rocket hit a house in a kibbutz, shown above, in Ashdod near the border with Gaza.
Day 6 July 13, 2014
In Gaza: 173 targets struck by Israel – 13 deaths
In Israel: 130 rockets launched from Gaza – 0 deaths
As the bombing and rocketing continued, there was growing international pressure on Israel to settle for a cease-fire. Those calls were intensified after a funeral for 18 people who died in an Israeli airstrike the day before. The strike targeted the multi-level home of the Hamas police chief. Above, men walk through the rubble of the house.
Day 5 July 12, 2014
In Gaza: 180 targets struck by Israel – 48 deaths
In Israel: 125 rockets launched from Gaza – 0 deaths
Israel struck a mosque that it said was harboring a weapons cache. A center for the disabled and a police commander’s house were also hit. Above, Palestinians prepare to bury a member of Hamas.
Day 4 July 11, 2014
In Gaza: 235 targets struck by Israel – 23 deaths
In Israel: 137 rockets launched from Gaza – 0 deaths
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was fighting Hamas with “increasing intensity” to quell its rocket barrages from Gaza. But even as he spoke, Palestinian militants fired salvos into Israel and said their arsenal had barely been dented. Above, a Palestinian man squats inside the rubble of his family’s house, destroyed by an Israeli airstrike.
Day 3 July 10, 2014
In Gaza: 210 targets struck by Israel – 23 deaths
In Israel: 197 rockets launched from Gaza – 0 deaths
As the Israeli campaign entered its third day, the Palestinian death toll continued to rise. Airstrikes on a house in Khan Younis and an open-air beach cafe killed more than a dozen Palestinians. In southern Israel, rockets from Gaza caused extensive property damage but no serious injuries as Israelis ran for cover with each air raid siren. Rockets headed for Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were intercepted by the Iron Dome system or fell in open spaces. Above, a woman lies with her baby on the floor of a shopping mall in Tel Aviv as an air raid siren warns of incoming rockets.
Day 2 July 9, 2014
In Gaza: 326 targets struck by Israel – 38 deaths
In Israel: 130 rockets launched from Gaza – 0 deaths
Israeli airstrikes hit Palestinian military leaders and their homes, as well as rocket launchers and storage facilities. Palestinian rockets damaged a kibbutz, shown above, just across the border from Gaza and landed as far as Hadera, north of Tel Aviv.
Day 1 July 8, 2014
In Gaza: 220 targets struck by Israel – 24 deaths
In Israel: 157 rockets launched from Gaza – 0 deaths
On the first official day of the Israeli air offensive, called Operation Protective Edge, war planes struck more than 200 sites in Gaza, including the area south of Gaza City shown above. Israeli officials said the sites harbored Islamist fighters or were used to store or manufacture weapons. Hamas launched some 150 rockets into Israel, including dozens of longer-range weapons, some of which reached Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Some of the rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome antimissile system.