On 8 July 2014, Israel launched a military operation which it designated Operation Protective Edge (Miv'tza Tzuk Eitan, lit. "Operation Strong Cliff") in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Thereafter, seven weeks of Israeli bombardment, Palestinian rocket attacks, and ground fighting resulted in the deaths of over 2200 people, the vast majority of them Gazans.
The stated aim of the Israeli operation was to stop rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, which increased after an Israeli crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank was launched following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by two Hamas members. On 7 July, after seven Hamas militants died in a tunnel explosion in Khan Yunis which was caused by an Israeli airstrike (per Hamas) or an accidental explosion of their own munitions (per the IDF), Hamas assumed responsibility for rockets fired from Gaza and launched 40 rockets towards Israel.
The operation officially began the following day, and on 17 July, the operation was expanded to an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza with the stated aim of destroying Gaza's tunnel system; Israeli ground forces withdrew on 5 August. On 26 August, an open-ended ceasefire was announced. By this time, the IDF reported that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other militant groups had fired 4,564 rockets and mortars from Gaza into Israel, while the IDF attacked 5,263 targets in Gaza; at least 34 known tunnels were destroyed and two-thirds of Hamas's 10,000-rocket arsenal was used up or destroyed. A bomb disposal expert in the Palestinian Interior Ministry said that by 22 August, 20,000 tons of explosives had been dropped on Gaza.
Between 2,140 and 2,310 Gazans were killed (including 513 children) and between 10,895 and 11,100 were wounded. 66 Israeli soldiers, 5 Israeli civilians (including one child) and one Thai civilian were killed and 469 IDF soldiers and 261 Israeli civilians were injured. The Gaza Health Ministry, UN and some human rights groups reported that 69–75% of the Palestinian casualties were civilians; Israeli officials estimated that around 50% of those killed were civilians. On 5 August, OCHA stated that 520,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip (approximately 30% of its population) might have been displaced, of whom 485,000 needed emergency food assistance and 273,000 were taking shelter in 90 UN-run schools. 17,200 Gazan homes were totally destroyed or severely damaged, and 37,650 homes suffered damage but were still inhabitable. In Israel, an estimated 5,000 to 8,000 citizens temporarily fled their homes due to the threat of rocket and mortar attacks. Nearly 3,000 properties in Israel suffered direct damage from rockets and mortar shells fired from Gaza.