Both Israel and Hamas have declared victory, but the third Gaza War in six years appears to have ended in a stalemate, with major losses on both sides.

In a sense, Israel got what it wanted: Hamas has stopped firing rockets in exchange for mostly vague promises and future talks. But the cost to Israel was huge: Beyond the 70 people killed — all but six of them soldiers — the economy has been set back, the tourism season destroyed, its people rattled for 50 days and its global standing battered by images of devastation in Gaza.

Hamas is celebrating after surviving Israel's far superior firepower. The Islamic militant group's rocket fire emptied a string of Israeli border communities and disrupted Tel Aviv's international airport. It may take a lead role in Palestinian politics, and the plight of Gazans is again at the forefront of the world's concerns.

But Gaza paid dearly: 2,143 Palestinians were killed, including nearly 500 children, and hundreds of suspected militants. The UN estimates the war destroyed or severely damaged 17,200 homes and left 100,000 Palestinians homeless, with considerable swathes of Gaza in rubble. The cost of rebuilding Gaza is estimated to be $6bn (£3.6bn, €4.6bn).

Palestinians sit in the remains of their house, which witnesses said was destroyed in an Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City
Palestinians sit in the remains of their house, which witnesses said was destroyed in an Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City(Reuters)
Hundreds of empty mortar shell containers collected by the Israeli army are seen after they left a position near the border with the Gaza Strip.
Hundreds of empty mortar shell containers collected by the Israeli army are seen after they left a position near the border with the Gaza Strip.(Reuters)
A militant holds a baby boy as Hamas celebrates 'a victory' over Israel, in Gaza City.
A militant holds a baby boy as Hamas celebrates 'a victory' over Israel, in Gaza City.(Reuters)
A Palestinian family walks past the collapsed remains of a building that was destroyed in fighting between Hamas militants and Israel during 50 days of fighting in Shejaiya.
A Palestinian family walks past the collapsed remains of a building that was destroyed in fighting between Hamas militants and Israel during 50 days of fighting in Shejaiya.(AFP)
Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas leader, and disputed prime minister of Gaza, holds a gun during a rally in Gaza City as he appears for the first time since the start of the seven-week conflict.
Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas leader, and disputed prime minister of Gaza, holds a gun during a rally in Gaza City as he appears for the first time since the start of the seven-week conflict.(Reuters)
Palestinians stand in the rubble of a building that was destroyed during fighting between Hamas militants and Israel, as they watch a parade by Hamas militants in Shejaiya.
Palestinians stand in the rubble of a building that was destroyed during fighting between Hamas militants and Israel, as they watch a parade by Hamas militants in Shejaiya.(AFP)
A Hamas militant displays a mortar shell as he celebrates what the militants say was a victory over Israel, in front of a destroyed house in Gaza City.
A Hamas militant displays a mortar shell as he celebrates what the militants say was a victory over Israel, in front of a destroyed house in Gaza City.(Reuters)
A Palestinian man kisses a Hamas sniper during a parade by militants in Shejaiya.
A Palestinian man kisses a Hamas sniper during a parade by militants in Shejaiya.(AFP)
Palestinians release fireworks as they celebrate what they said was a victory over Israel.
Palestinians release fireworks as they celebrate what they said was a victory over Israel.(Reuters)
A Palestinian man walks past a fire in a street lined with shattered homes in Shejaiya in Gaza City.
A Palestinian man walks past a fire in a street lined with shattered homes in Shejaiya in Gaza City.(AFP)
A Palestinian boy lies on his family's belongings as they return to their home in Gaza City.
A Palestinian boy lies on his family's belongings as they return to their home in Gaza City.(Reuters)
A man walks inside the shattered remains of his home in Gaza City's Shejaiya neighbourhood.
A man walks inside the shattered remains of his home in Gaza City's Shejaiya neighbourhood.(AFP)
A Palestinian man and three children sit on the rooftop of a partially destroyed home surrounded by bombed buildings in the Shejaiya neighbourhood of Gaza City. Shejaiya was one of the hardest hit areas in the fighting between Hamas militants and Israel.
A Palestinian man and three children sit on the rooftop of a partially destroyed home surrounded by bombed buildings in the Shejaiya neighbourhood of Gaza City. Shejaiya was one of the hardest hit areas in the fighting between Hamas militants and Israel.(AFP)