Israel's Operation Protective Edge enters its third week

Here are the main developments since Israel launched a major offensive in Gaza aimed at halting rocket fire.

The cycle of violence is the fifth between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas since 2005.

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 from Palestinian militants.

Hamas says "all Israelis" are potential targets.

9: Israel carries out strikes as rockets are fired at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

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

13: Israeli naval commandos make a lightning strike in northern Gaza to hit a rocket launcher site.

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

15: Israel accepts an Egyptian ceasefire proposal. Hamas rejects it, demanding an end to the eight-year blockade of Gaza. 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, its first 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 calls up another 18,000 reservists, taking the total to 65,000.

18: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin 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 at least 70 in Shejaiya, east of Gaza City. On the Israeli side 13 soldiers from the Golani brigade are killed.

Palestinian and Arab League leaders accuse Israel of war crimes.

21: Fifty-five Palestinians, including 16 children, are killed by air strikes and tank shelling across the enclave which hit a hospital and a residential building.

22: Israeli strikes kill about 40, including at least 13 women and children, as Israel's army announces the death of two more soldiers. Israeli tank fire hits a UN school sheltering displaced Palestinians.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon visits the West Bank and Israel and tells both sides: "Stop fighting, start talking". US Secretary of State John Kerry, in Cairo, urges Hamas to accept a ceasefire.

A rocket fired from Gaza crashes just kilometres (miles) from Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, prompting several American and European airlines suspend links with Israel.

Since July 8, at least 620 Palestinians have been killed and more than 3,700 injured, mainly civilians, according to rescue workers. More than 100,000 Palestinians have been displaced, the UN says. On the Israeli side, 29 have died, among them two civilians hit by rocket fire, and 27 soldiers in the ground offensive.

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