Israel-Palestinian ceasefire takes hold

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi (C) visit a damaged building in the Israeli city of Petah Tikva

A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement which controls the Gaza Strip, appeared to hold Friday after 11 days of deadly fighting that pounded the Palestinian enclave and forced countless Israelis to seek shelter from rockets.

When the deadline expired, Hamas launched rockets, prompting Israel’s military to launch an operation aimed at heavily degrading the Islamist group, which has controlled Gaza since 2007.

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