Last night it looked like a cease fire was taking hold in the Middle East. It came after a weekend of violence between Israel and Palestinian militant groups. In fact, this was the worst fighting between the two sides since war broke out in 2014. It all started Friday in Gaza, a Palestinian controlled territory of about 2 million people that borders the Mediterranean Sea. During weekly protests near the fence between Gaza and Israel, a sniper inside Gaza wounded two Israeli soldiers and Israel's military killed four Palestinians.
The violence got worse throughout the weekend. And by Monday Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two Palestinian militant groups, had fired 690 rockets into Israel, according to the nation's military. And Israel had launched air strikes against 350 militant targets. At least four people in Israel were killed. At least 23 people were killed in Gaza. And the two sides blamed each other for the attacks. The Israeli president said his nation would continue its, quote, "massive attacks against terrorist elements," and that Hamas was responsible and would pay a heavy price. The leader of Hamas in Gaza said quote, "The more atrocious the Israeli attacks on the Palestinian civilians are, the stronger the Palestinian response will be".
After intense diplomatic work by the United Nations and Egypt to get the two sides to stop fighting, it appeared that things had calmed down on Monday, though the leaders of Israel and Hamas were saying more attacks could be on the horizon. The United Nations specifically spoke out against the launches of rockets in the civilian areas of Israel. When that happens, Israel has what's called an Iron Dome Defense System in place.
暴力冲突在周末不断恶化 。据以色列军方公布的消息，截至周一，巴勒斯坦两大武装组织——哈马斯和伊斯兰圣战组织，已向以色列发射了690枚火箭 。而以色列则空袭了350个武装目标 。以色列至少有4人死亡，加沙地区至少有23人死亡 。双方均将袭击归咎于对方 。以色列总统表示，以色列将继续“对恐怖分子发动大规模袭击”，并称哈马斯是罪魁祸首，将会付出惨重代价 。哈马斯驻加沙地带领袖则表示，“以色列对巴勒斯坦平民的袭击越残暴，巴勒斯坦的回应就越强烈 。”
在联合国和埃及进行了紧张的外交斡旋后，双方同意停止交火，看起来周一时事态已经平息，尽管以色列和哈马斯领导人均表示，未来可能发生更多袭击 。联合国发表明确表态，对向以色列平民区发射火箭的行为进行谴责 。遭遇火箭袭击时，以色列已经部署了“铁穹”防御系统 。
1. take hold 完全控制；彻底影响；
They got out of the house just before the flames took hold.
2. break out （战争、战斗或疾病）爆发；
They had escaped to America shortly before war broke out in 1939.
3. calm down (使)平定；平息；
We waited inside until things calmed down.
4. speak out against 公开表白；大胆说出；
Like other tyrants, he tried to silence anyone who spoke out against him.