It remains unclear if the latest events will lead to a resumption of long-stalled negotiations on a broader peace agreement or serve simply as a respite, as has occurred in the past.
The escalation in violence between Hamas, the Palestinian movement that controls Gaza, and Israel began when the Israeli military launched an offensive designed to stop constant rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.
Israel launched the Pillar of Defense offensive, an air operation targeting Hamas military commanders and weaponry.
As the Israeli military pounded Gaza, Palestinian militants continued to fire rockets into Israel, battering the southern region and reaching Israel's two major cities -- Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Israel's "Iron Dome" missile defense system blocked projectiles targeting population centers, but civilians in the Jewish state and the densely populated Gaza lived in fear of attack.
Israel called up reservists and massed its forces on the Gaza border, threatening a ground invasion.
But the cease-fire averted a repeat of Israel's Operation Cast Lead offensive against Palestinian militants in late 2008, an operation that led to a bloody three-week war.
The recent fighting took its toll: More than 160 Palestinians, many of whom were civilians, were killed. Six Israelis died, including civilians and soldiers. Hundreds were wounded.
Funds are rolling in from donors such as Sweden and the OPEC Fund for International Development to help Palestinians in Gaza with emergency food and medical supplies.
Donors also are contributing money to help civilians in southern Israel.
And in Israel, many citizens registered their displeasure with the cease-fire and said the military should have continued its offensive, a poll in Israel said Friday.
Maariv, a newspaper, and Maagar Mohot Polling Institute said 49% of Israelis it polled favored continuing the operation.
It said 31% agreed with accepting the cease-fire. The poll was conducted among 503 respondents. The margin of error is 4.5 percentage points. Twenty percent had no opinion.
The poll was released two months before Israeli elections.
It also showed the alliance of Likud and Yisrael Beitenu, the parties of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, has lost some ground, but the alliance would still maintain its ability to form a government if the election were held this week.
The poll said that the coalition partners would win 37 seats in the 120-member seat Israeli parliament, the Knesset. A poll before the offensive and cease-fire said it would win 43.
The Israeli offensive was widely popular in the Jewish state, backed by more than 90% of Israeli Jews, a Haaretz poll said on Monday. Only 30% backed a ground attack.
Cease-Fire Holds in Gaza Despite Latest Flare-Up
Gazans celebrate as Israel and Hamas commit to truce. (November 23, 2012)