correction

A map in a previous version of this article did not include the 1949 Green Line surrounding Mount Scopus and mistakenly referred to Mount Scopus as an Israeli settlement. The map has been corrected to reflect the area's status.

JERUSALEM — Violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip may come to a tentative pause as a cease-fire goes into force early Friday morning, local time.

The mounting death toll from the conflict already includes more than 200 Gaza residents, including dozens of children, according to Palestinian health officials. On the Israeli side, 12 people, including two children, have been killed amid a barrage of rockets fired by Palestinian militants.

Riots and physical fights between Jewish and Arab Israelis have also broken out in cities and towns across Israel, prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to threaten to use military force to quash the “anarchy.”

Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Gaza and Palestinian militants have fired rocket salvos in the most intense fighting in years. (Jason Aldag/The Washington Post)

The conflict followed weeks of clashes and demonstrations amid rising tensions in Jerusalem. On the morning of May 10, hundreds of Palestinians were injured in a police raid on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, one of the holiest sites in Islam. By the evening, militants in the Gaza Strip had fired rockets toward Jerusalem for the first time in years, and Israel responded with airstrikes.

A confluence of factors — some decades old, others more immediate — contributed to the worst violence in years.

Here’s what you need to know.

What to know

  • What’s behind the unrest in Israel and the Gaza Strip in recent days?
  • How did this escalate into rocket attacks and airstrikes?
  • What are the political factors?
  • What else is at play here?
  • <b>What happens now?</b>