The Gaza war — the third round of fighting since the Islamic militant group Hamas seized power in 2007 — left more than 2,200 people dead, caused widespread destruction in the densely populated coastal territory, and paralysed large parts of southern Israel during much of the summer. The two sides settled for an ambiguous interim agreement in exchange for a period of calm. Hamas, though badly battered, remains in control of Gaza with part of its military arsenal intact. Israel and Egypt will maintain a blockade tightened seven years ago.

Hamas declared victory, even though it had little to show for a war that killed 2,143 Palestinians, wounded more than 11,000 and left some 100,000 homeless. On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers and six civilians were killed, including two by Palestinian mortar fire shortly before the ceasefire was announced.

IBTimes UK looks back at the seven weeks of fighting in 40 powerful photos that tell the story of the crisis.

israeli prayer
An Israeli soldier performs a morning prayer in a deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza StripAFP
gaza fireball
Smoke and flames billow after an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza StripReuters
gaza rubble
A Palestinian walks through the rubble of a house that was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, in the northern Gaza StripReuters
israel gaza airstrikes
Israelis near Sderot watch a smoke plume rising over Gaza following an Israel Air Force bombingGetty
israel ground offensive gaza
An Israeli soldier sleeps next to a mobile artillery unit outside the central Gaza StripReuters
gaza children
The son of one of the members of Tayseer Al-Batsh's family, who were killed in an Israeli air strike, mourns during their funeral in Gaza City. The Israeli air strike on the family home of Al-Batsh, Gaza's police chief, killed 18 peopleReuters
gaza rockets israel
Israelis take cover on the side of a road outside the northern Gaza Strip as a siren sounds, warning of incoming rocketsReuters
gaza rockets israel
Rockets fired from Gaza City are launched toward IsraelAFP
gaza children killed beach
Mourners carry the bodies of the four Palestinian children from the Bakr family, who were killed on a beach by a shell fired by an Israeli naval gunboatReuters
israel gaza airstrikes
Israeli soldiers mourn during the funeral of their comrade Bnaya Rubel in Holon, near Tel AvivReuters
gaza dead child
A Palestinian man carries the body of his daughter, who was killed during Israeli shelling, outside al-Shifa hospital in Gaza CityAFP
gaza woman blood
A Palestinian woman wearing clothes stained with the blood of relatives, who were wounded in Israeli shelling, cries at a hospital in Gaza CityReuters
gaza israel funeral
Friends and relatives of 20-year-old Israeli Staff Sergeant Moshe Melako of the Golani Brigade, who was killed during fighting with Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, mourn during his funeral at the Mt Herzel military cemetery in JerusalemAFP
gaza children
Palestinians bury the bodies of two young boys Abdulrahamn Abed al-Nabi, 1, and Hadi Abed al-Nabi, 3, who were killed in an Israeli air strike in the Gaza StripReuters
gaza UN school blood
Blood runs down the stairs at the United Nations-run school in Beit HanounReuters
man with baby
A Palestinian man carries a baby after being evacuated from a UN-run school that was hit by Israeli shellingReuters
gaza tanks
Israeli armoured personnel carriers manoeuvre outside the northern Gaza Strip as the Jewish state stepped up its ground offensiveReuters
gaza tunnel
An Israeli army officer shows journalists a tunnel said to be used by Palestinian militants for cross-border attacksReuters
gaza power station
A Palestinian firefighter works during efforts to extinguish a fire at Gaza's main power plant, after it was hit in Israeli shellingReuters
gaza fireball
A huge fireball erupts following Israeli air strikes in the east of Gaza CityReuters
unexploded israeli shell gaza
Palestinians look at an unexploded Israeli shell that landed on the main road outside the town of Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza StripReuters
gaza rubble
Palestinians who were displaced from their houses return to check their homes in Gaza City's Shejaiya neighbourhood during the brief ceasefireAFP
israel gaza airstrikes
An explosion from an Israeli strike in the northern Gaza Strip is pictured from the Israeli borderReuters
gaza boy rubble
Palestinians try to evacuate a wounded boy from under the rubble of a house that was destroyed in an Israeli air strike that killed at least nine members from the al-Ghol family, in Rafah in the southern Gaza StripReuters
gaza boy rubble
Palestinians carry a wounded a boy who was rescued from under the rubble of a house in Rafah in the southern Gaza StripReuters
gaza ceasefire
Palestinian men ride a donkey cart past destroyed buildings in the northern Gaza Strip, as a 72-hour humanitarian truce went into effectAFP
gaza ceasefire israel
Israeli soldiers cheer from their armoured personnel carrier as Israel withdraws its troops from the Gaza StripAFP
gaza ceasefire israel
Palestinian families leave their homes in Gaza City's Shejaiya neighbourhood in fear of Israeli airstrikes, after Hamas refused to extend the 72-hour ceasefire with IsraelAFP
gaza children
Palestinian boys are evacuated from their family's house, following a raid on the house of Zakaria al-Aqra by Israeli troops near the West Bank city of NablusReuters
gaza tunnel
Israeli soldiers stand over a hole in the ground they suspect is connected to a tunnel, outside the Gaza StripReuters
gaza ceasefire israel
Palestinians sit in a tent outside their apartments, which were destroyed in an Israeli offensive, during a 72-hour truce in Beit Lahiya town in the northern Gaza StripReuters
gaza tunnel exposed
Part of a tunnel exposed by the Israeli military is seen on the Israeli side of the border with GazaReuters
gaza mosque
Palestinians walk under the collapsed minaret of a mosque that was destroyed during the Israeli offensive on the Gaza StripAFP
gaza tunnel
A Palestinian fighter from the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, stands inside a tunnel. A rare tour that Hamas granted to a Reuters reporter, photographer and cameraman appeared to be an attempt to dispute Israel's claim that it had demolished all of the Islamist group's border infiltration tunnelsReuters
gaza father
Tarek al-Rifi, the father of one of the three children from the Al-Rifi family killed in an Israeli military strike, reacts at Gaza city's Al-Shifa hospitalAFP
gaza hamas commanders
Tens of thousands of Palestinians march during the funeral of three senior Hamas commanders who were killed in an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza StripReuters
hamas informants
Hamas militants grab Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel, before executing them in Gaza CityReuters
gaza tower
Palestinian women stand next to the remains of one of Gaza City's tallest apartment towers after it was hit by an Israeli air strikeReuters
gaza bomb fireball
A combination of pictures shows a missile that was fired by an Israeli aircraft hit the house of Palestinian senior Islamic Jihad leader Nafez Azzam in Rafah in the southern Gaza StripReuters
gaza kids with guns
Children hold up guns as Palestinians gather in the streets of Gaza City to celebrate, after a deal was reached between Hamas and Israel to end to seven weeks of fighting in the Gaza StripAFP