A scratchy audio recording of a Palestinian militant sent an ominous warning to Israel this month.
It said Israel would pay a “heavy price” if it did not meet the demands of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip.
The voice was that of Mohammed Deif, the elusive leader of Hamas’s military wing.
From the shadows of Gaza, Deif – one of Israel’s most-wanted men – had broken his silence for the first time in seven years.
But when his warning went unheeded, a conflict convulsed Israel and Gaza over 11 days before a ceasefire was agreed.
A conflict on pause as both sides claim victory
Israel-Gaza conflict explained
At least 242 people were killed in Gaza, according to the UN, and 13 people were killed in Israel during the hostilities from 10-21 May.
The UN said at least 129 of those killed in Gaza were civilians. Israel’s military said 200 were militants; Hamas’s leader there, Yahya Sinwar, put the number of fighters killed at 80. Though Deif was in the firing line, he was not one of them.
“Throughout the operation, we have tried to assassinate Mohammed Deif,” Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Hidai Zilberman said, according to the New York Times.