The shaky ceasefire between Hamas and Israel has grown increasingly more unstable over the past month, leading to a rise in cross-border shootings, rockets, and mortars from Gaza; as well as Israel Defense Forces (IDF) infiltrations, airstrikes, and assassinations in the strip. The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire—that ended the weeklong Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012, the last round of major military confrontation between Israel and Hamas—has been put under severe strain due to a lack of strategic political foundation.
In addition to prompting an immediate halt to the hostilities, the written agreement aimed to initiate a process to normalize movements of goods and people to and from Gaza. In the year following the ceasefire, the number of rocket and mortar attacks originating from Gaza against Israel dropped to 67 from 641 in the year prior; and there were only nine Palestinians killed in Gaza as a result of Israeli operations between December 2012 and the end of 2013, as opposed to 246 in the first eleven months of 2012 (the majority of whom were killed during Pillar of Defense). Yet, in the past month alone, more than twenty rockets have been launched from Gaza, and five people have been killed (four Palestinians and one Israeli).
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