Middle East Unrest

Gaza Cease-Fire Holds Between Hamas and Israel After 50-Day War


JERUSALEM - An open-ended cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip was holding Wednesday, as many on both sides of the conflict wondered what was gained during 50 days of fighting. The Gaza war — the third round of fighting since the Islamic militant group Hamas seized power in 2007 — left more than 2,200 people dead.

Early Wednesday, the Israeli military said there were no reports of violations since the cease-fire went into effect at 7 p.m. local time (12 p.m. ET) Tuesday. While tens of thousands of Gazans heeded Hamas calls to flood the streets after the announcement, many appeared to be more interested in enjoying their freedom from attacks rather than participating in a celebration. After more than seven weeks of fighting, the two sides settled for an ambiguous interim agreement in exchange for a period of calm. Hamas declared victory, even though it had little to show for a war that killed 2,143 Palestinians, wounded more than 11,000 and left some 100,000 homeless. On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers and six civilians were killed, including two by Palestinian mortar fire shortly before the cease-fire was announced.



- The Associated Press