Main events in Israel's Operation Protective Edge

Here is a rundown of key developments nearly two weeks after Israel launched a major offensive in Gaza aimed at halting cross-border rocket fire by Palestinian militants.

The cycle of violence is the fourth between Israel and the militant Hamas movement since 2006.

It began on June 12 with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank, prompting a major crackdown on Hamas, which triggered a surge in rocket fire from Gaza.

JULY, 2014

8: Israel launches Operation Protective Edge, with dozens of air strikes on Gaza in response to mounting rocket fire by Palestinian militants.

The Islamist movement Hamas says "all Israelis" are potential targets.

9: Israel launches air strikes as Hamas fires rockets at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

12: Fifty-six Palestinians killed as the UN Security Council urges Israel and Hamas to end hostilities.

13: Israeli naval commandos make a lightning strike in northern Gaza, the first since the offensive began, to hit a rocket launcher site.

Abbas asks the UN to put the state of Palestine under "international protection".

15: Israel's security cabinet accepts a ceasefire proposal from Egypt. Hamas rejects it, and demands an end to the blockade of Gaza in effect since 2006.

Israel resumes raids after the truce fails to hold.

16: Israel intensifies its bombardment, killing at least 25 Palestinians, including eight children, four of whom were on a beach.

17: Israel launches a ground operation preceded by an intense bombardment. It is the first ground operation since the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead in which 1,400 Palestinians were killed.

Hamas says "Israel will pay a high price" for the assault.

Israel approves the call-up of another 18,000 reservists, taking the total number approved to 65,000.

18: Netanyahu says "a significant broadening" of the ground operation is possible, as air strikes alone cannot destroy Hamas's tunnel network.

20: The most deadly day of the offensive, with more than 140 Palestinians killed, including 70 in Shejaiya east of Gaza City. On the Israeli side 13 soldiers from the Golani brigade are killed.

Hamas says it has captured an Israeli soldier, Israel's ambassador to the UN rejects the claim.

Palestinian and Arab League leaders accuse Israel of war crimes.

US President Barack Obama sends Secretary of State John Kerry to Cairo to try to obtain a ceasefire.

21: More than 10 Palestinians are killed as they try to infiltrate Gaza via a tunnel.

At least nine Palestinians from the same family, including four children, are killed during a raid on Rafah.

Since July 8, more than 500 Palestinians have been killed, mostly civilians. Israeli casualties include 20 dead, 18 of whom were soldiers.