Israel says it is conducting a "complete siege" on the Gaza Strip, one of two Palestinian-held areas within Israel.
Israel cut off the region's access to food and fuel on Monday, and over the weekend cut off power supplies.
The death toll has risen to nearly 1,600, and Hamas has pledged to kill captured Israelis if Israel strikes civilian targets without warning.
What happens next?
Scripps News spoke with Ambassador Jim Jeffrey, the former Ambassador To Iraq and Turkey, and the current Chair of the Middle East Program at the Wilson Center.
"It is perilous in the extreme," Jeffrey told Scripps News, of the latest violence.
"This is not normal conflicts we see all the time. There's been three between Israel and Hamas in Gaza over the last 20 years. There was a significant one with Hezbollah in 2006. There's been back and forths in Syria and Iraq, Iran against Saudi Arabia, you name it. But these are all sort of diplomatic message-sending by bombs and rockets and that kind of thing, with low casualties, usually" Jeffrey said. "This is a serious escalation on the part of Hamas, as Israeli officials say, it is unprecedented."
Jeffrey explains how the violence compares to the context and history of the region, examines the Israeli response, and discusses the likelihood of a broader conflict.
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