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Gaza War (Operation Cast Lead, 2008-9)

An Israeli military operation turned into large-scale fighting between the IDF and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. This was the first major confrontation in the area since the 2007 Hamas takeover of the Strip. Israel's stated goals were to put an end to rocket fire on southern Israeli localities and to stop Hamas' buildup of military capabilities, while Hamas aimed at lifting the Israeli blockade of the Strip that had been in place since 2007. After several weeks of Israeli airstrikes, Israeli forces entered the Strip and intense ground fighting began, along side sustained rocket fire into Israel. The fighting ended with a unilateral ceasefire by Israel, later accepted by Hamas and other organizations, followed by a withdrawal of Israeli forces. Between 1,000 and 1,500 people, mostly Palestinians, died in the fighting.
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