Dozens of rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip into southern and central Israel on Saturday, as Hamas militants infiltrated southern towns in an unprecedented move, the Israeli military said.
Sirens and explosions were heard across the region on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah and the military urged residents to stay close to bomb shelters.
The violence began a day after Hamas, which rules Gaza, said that the “people had to draw a line to end the occupation” and that Israel continued to commit crimes across Palestinian land, and especially on the holy site of Al Aqsa in Jerusalem.
The following timeline, which begins with Israel's 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, includes the major flare-ups between Israel and Palestinian groups in the crowded coastal enclave, which is home to 2.3 million people.
Israeli forces unilaterally withdraw from Gaza 38 years after capturing it from Egypt in a Middle East war, abandoning settlements and leaving the enclave under the control of the Palestinian Authority.
January 25, 2006:
Hamas wins a majority of seats in a Palestinian legislative election. Israel and the US cut off aid to Palestinians because Hamas refuses to renounce violence and recognise Israel.
June 25, 2006:
Hamas militants capture Israeli army conscript Gilad Shalit in a cross-border raid from Gaza, prompting Israeli air strikes and incursions. Shalit is freed more than five years later in a prisoner exchange.
June 14, 2007:
Hamas takes over Gaza in a brief civil war, ousting Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is based in the West Bank.
December 27, 2008:
Israel launches a 22-day military offensive in Gaza after Palestinians fire rockets at the southern Israeli town of Sderot. About 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis are reported killed before a ceasefire is agreed.
November 14, 2012:
Israel kills Hamas’s military chief of staff, Ahmad Jabari, and eight days of Palestinian militant rocket fire and Israeli air strikes follow.
The kidnap and killing of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas leads to a seven-week war in which more than 2,100 Palestinians are reported killed in Gaza and 73 Israelis are reported killed, 67 of them military.
Palestinian protests begin at Gaza’s fenced border with Israel and Israeli troops open fire to keep them back. More than 170 Palestinians are reported killed in several months of protests, which also prompt fighting between Hamas and Israeli forces.
After weeks of tension during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, hundreds of Palestinians are injured in clashes with Israeli security forces at Al Aqsa compound in Jerusalem, Islam’s third holiest site.
After demanding Israel withdraw security forces from Al Aqsa, Hamas unleashes a barrage of rockets from Gaza into Israel. Israel hits back with air strikes on Gaza. Fighting goes on for 11 days, killing at least 250 people in Gaza and 13 in Israel.
August 5, 2022:
Israel kills at least 10 people including a senior Islamic Jihad commander, hitting what it calls a series of military targets in Gaza. Islamic Jihad fires dozens of rockets into Israel in response.
Hamas stays out of the fighting.
August 6, 2022:
Israeli air strikes continue to pound Gaza, while Islamic Jihad fires hundreds more rockets. The death toll in Gaza climbs to 24, including six children, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
August 7, 2022:
Rockets fired from Gaza reach as far as five kilometres west of Jerusalem, causing no casualties but signalling greater weapons range. The death toll in Gaza reaches 30. There are tensions over Jewish visitors at Al Aqsa mosque compound.
Israel carried out air strikes after Gaza militants fired rockets as tensions soared following an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank that killed 10 Palestinians in Jenin.
A 61-year-old woman was among those killed in what was the deadliest single raid in the territory for more than two decades.
February 2, 2023:
The rocket, which reportedly triggered sirens in Sderot, Ivim and Nir Am, was intercepted by Israeli air defences, the military said.
In response, Israeli fighter jets hit “a production site for raw chemical material production, preservation and storage along with a weapon manufacturing site” belonging to Hamas.
A ceasefire between Israel and Gaza militants took effect on May 13 after five days of intense cross-border exchanges. The conflict claimed the lives of at least 33 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and two Israelis.
September 26, 2023:
The Palestinians have been holding daily demonstrations at the border after Israel closed the Erez crossing from Gaza.