A ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian soldiers in the Gaza Strip was largely maintained on Sunday, apart from a brief exchange of fire in the evening, and the routine resumed hours after the two sides agreed to terminate a five-day escalation that killed at least 33 people in Gaza and two in Israel.

But across the region the question was when, rather than if, the ceasefire would break. The escalation, at least the eleventh involving Gaza since 2006, came just nine months after previous days long battle between Israel and militias in the coastal enclave.

The Israeli military said a single Palestinian rocket was fired at an open area near Gaza on Sunday evening, causing no damage but reminding residents of the ceasefire.

Regional dynamics also remain unstable: Israel’s 16-yr blockade of Gazawhich is held in common with Egypt, remains in place, as does its 56 years the occupation of the West Bank, both of which fuel Palestinian anger and violence. Hard-line Palestinian militias that officially call for Israel’s destruction still dominate Gaza and maintain a strong presence in the West Bank – reinforcing the Israeli rationale for exerting control over both territories.

Israel allowed goods, food and people to re-enter Gaza on Sunday morning, allowing thousands of Gazans to return to Israel for work on construction sites and farms, after authorities blocked entry and exit during the escalation last week.

Yet a broader blockade remained: Since Hamas captured Gaza in 2007Israel has blocked some imports to the enclave, especially electronic and computer equipment, for fear that militants could reuse them as weapons. Israel has also restricted most exits from Gaza.

In southern Israel, life began to return to normal on Sunday, with schools and roads reopening and shelters emptied as the threat of widespread Palestinian rocket fire receded. But the rocket fire on Sunday evening caused some residents to run for cover again.

In response, Israel said it briefly shelled two militant outposts. No injuries were reported and Palestinian militant leaders said the rocket was fired accidentally.

The Palestinians resumed a familiar rebuilding operation in Gaza: Officials there said Israeli airstrikes last week had destroyed or irreparably damaged 100 houses and apartments, and caused less serious damage to more than 900 others.

Currently, Palestine Islamic Jihad – the Iran-backed militia that led the fight against Israel – appears to be being thwarted. Israeli airstrikes killed several of the group’s top commandersas well as several civilians, and the Israeli military said it had destroyed some of its rocket launchers and rocket arsenal.

Hamas, the larger and better-armed militia that rules the Gaza Strip, did not publicly involve itself in the fighting. Although Hamas has helped fuel the recent violence in the West Bank and Lebanon, so have its leaders recently shown that they do not want to involve their stronghold in Gaza in these campaigns.

Hamas officially seeks the destruction of Israel and, like Islamic Jihad, is considered a terrorist organization by countries including Israel, Japan and the United States. But it also drives Gaza and needs to relieve an economy largely crippled by years of Israeli restrictions on the territory.

Mindful of that balancing act, Israel has issued roughly 20,000 work permits to Gazan workers over the past two years—providing a crucial source of money and employment to a territory where nearly half of eligible workers are unemployed. Experts claim that Hamas don’t want to risk it that arrangement, at least for now.

Islamic Jihad has not been dealt anything close to a fatal blow. Israeli officials estimate the group still has about 10,000 operatives and several thousand rockets. And while several of the group’s leaders were killed last week, it lost a similar number of commanders during the previous escalation last August – and has since taken less than a year to recover.

Since Islamic Jihad does not rule Gaza, its leaders do not have to worry about maintaining the enclave’s economy. That leaves the group freer to fire rockets in response to activity by Israeli security forces in the West Bank and Israel. Israel’s arrest of a senior leader of Islamic Jihad in the West Bank was a catalyst for the battle last Augustand the escalation last week was partly prompted by the death of another Islamic Jihad leader who was on hunger strike in an Israeli prison.

Hamas, like Islamic Jihad, is considered a terrorist group by countries including Israel and the United States. Hamas fighters may also start firing rockets again if the group feels Israeli actions are crossing too many perceived red lines.

The group has threatened to respond deadly Israeli military operations in Palestinian cities in the West Bank; Israeli far-right marches through Arab areas of Jerusalem; and Israeli police raids on the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, a place also holy to Jews, who call it the Temple Mount.

Recently, Hamas gunmen killed several Israeli civilians in the West Bank and were accused of firing rockets at Israel from Lebanon. If such attacks increase, Israeli leaders are likely to face pressure from hardliners in their own government to attack Hamas’ nerve center in Gaza, raising the risk of retaliatory rocket fire.

Without a full resolution to the wider Israeli-Palestinian conflict, analysts foresee no end to the repeated violence in Gaza.

While small economic concessions from Israel have helped delay recent episodes of violence and reduce their intensity, they have not removed the main causes of Palestinian anger: Israel’s more extensive economic restrictions on Gaza, its bifurcated legal system in the West Bank – and the extremist Palestinians which controls Gaza, Israel’s very existence in the first place.

Moderates on both sides still hope to one day create a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but neither currently has the ability to resume meaningful peace talks. Israel’s far-right leaders reject the idea of ​​Palestinian independence, and the country’s small peace camp has little chance of taking power. The Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the West Bank in coordination with Israel, was forced out of Gaza in 2007 by Hamas, which does not recognize Israel.

A cartoon published Sunday in a leading Israeli newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, summed up the mood.

“We must end this operation in Gaza,” Israeli army chief Herzi Halevi was pictured telling a cartoon version of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Because soon we have the next operation in Gaza.”

Gabby Sobelman contributed reports from Rehovot, Israel, and Myra Noveck and Isabel Kershner from Jerusalem.