Timeline: Israeli-Hamas violence since Gaza takeover

Israel launched its offensive on Hamas with aerial bombardments on December 27 2008 to curtail Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza ahead of an Israeli national election on February 2009.

June 14 2007
Hamas seizes Gaza after overpowering Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah forces in a week of fighting in which at least 100 people are killed.

  • Abbas dismisses Hamas-led unity government and appoints a Fatah-backed administration, led by Salam Fayyad, a technocratic economist favoured by the West.
  • Israel and the new Palestinian government open formal contacts. The Jewish state tightens a blockade of Gaza.

    January 23 2008
    Militants blow up border wall at Rafah and tens of thousands of Palestinians pour into Egypt from Gaza to shop for food and fuel in short supply because of the Israeli-led blockade.
    The border is sealed again days later.

    March 3
    Israeli troops pull out of the Gaza Strip after five-day offensive that has killed more than 120 Palestinians.

    March 4
    Egypt calls for ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.

    March 6
    A Palestinian gunman kills eight students at Jewish seminary in Jerusalem. Hamas officials claim the deadliest attack on Israelis in two years.

    March 23
    Fatah and Hamas sign Yemeni-sponsored deal promising to revive direct talks but dialogue falls apart amid differences over whether Hamas must first cede control of Gaza.

    June 19
    A truce begins between Hamas and Israel. It calls for Hamas to stop cross-border rocket fire and for Israel to gradually ease its embargo on Gaza.

    August 2
    Factional fighting kills three Hamas policemen and six pro-Fatah gunmen in the Gaza Strip in the worst fighting since June 2007.

    November 5
    Hamas fires dozens of rockets at Israel after Israeli forces kill six Palestinian militants in an eruption of violence that has disrupted the four-month-old truce.

    December 14
    Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal is quoted as saying the group will not renew the six-month-old truce with Israel.

    December 18
    Hamas Islamists declare the end of the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel which expires the next day with a surge of cross-border fighting.

    December 24
    Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip ratchet up rocket fire towards Israel.

    December 27
    Israel launches air strikes on Gaza in response to almost daily rocket and mortar fire that intensified after Hamas ended the six-month ceasefire.

    December 28/29
    Israel steps up air strikes and at least 307 Palestinians are killed, including about 180 Hamas security officers. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency says at least 51 of the Gaza dead are civilians.

  • Israel declares areas around the Gaza Strip a “closed military zone”.
  • Palestinian militants fire rockets deeper into southern Israel. Two Israelis have been killed since December 27. - Reuters

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