The violence surrounding the Israeli-Hamas conflict
claimed 135 lives and wounded hundreds more, including many children. Hamas has
intensified rocket strikes against Israel, using munitions that, for the first time, put Jerusalem and Tel Aviv at risk. Israel has stepped-up its air campaign against hundreds of Hamas rocket installations, which Hamas has strategically placed in the Gaza Strip's heavily-populated areas, increasing the likelihood of civilian casualties.
As a cease-fire is finally brokered
, here's an overview of the region and the ongoing conflict: