Late last week Israel launched a targeted air strike, killing Zohair al-Qaisi, militant leader of the Popular Resistance Committee, claiming the group was planning a terrorist strike in Israel. Over the next few days, militant groups in Gaza launched hundreds of rockets into southern Israel in retaliation, and Israel responded with new rounds of air strikes. Israel also deployed an anti-missile system known as Iron Dome, claiming to have shot down more than 40 rockets. Egypt stepped in to help broker a cease-fire that began yesterday, and held for about a day, but both sides have since launched limited attacks. In all, eight people in Israel have been wounded in the fighting, and at least 27 Palestinians have been killed.
A rocket launches from the Israeli anti-missile system known as the Iron Dome, in order to intercept a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip in Ashdod, Israel, on March 11, 2012.
(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
A Hamas policeman inspects the remains of a vehicle after it was targeted by an Israeli air strike that killed the head of the Popular Resistance Committees militant group in Gaza City, on March 9, 2012. The PRC said General Secretary Zohair al-Qaisi was one of two Palestinians killed in the strike, along with fellow-member Mahmud Halani, hours after Palestinians fired mortar rounds into Israel.
(Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)
A Palestinian tries to extinguish a fire after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on March 10, 2012. Despite Egyptian efforts to mediate a cease-fire, both sides remained defiant with Palestinians firing more than 100 rockets, some striking major cities in southern Israel, and the military responding with the targeted killings of more than 15 militants.
One of two Islamic Jihad militants who were killed in an Israeli airstrike on March 12, 2012 is transported into the morgue of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza city, as Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza for a fourth day, killing six more Palestinians, including the two activists who were identified by the Palestinian group as Bassam al-Ajla and Mohammed Dahir.
(Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)
An Israeli missile, launched from the Iron Dome, impacts a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, near Ashdod, Israel, on March 12, 2012.
(Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
Israeli military drones fly over Gaza City on March 12, 2012. The cross-border violence, touched off by Israel's killing of a top militant leader, has been the worst exchange of fire between Israel and the Hamas-ruled territory in years.
(AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Palestinian relatives grieve over the body of Nayef Qarmut, a teenager killed on his way to school, as he is prepared for burial at the morgue in Beit Lahiya, on March 12, 2012, in the Gaza Strip. Earlier reports claimed Qarmut had been killed by an Israeli military drone strike, but the Israeli military denied it had conducted any air strikes in northern Gaza at that time.
(Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images)