But behind the quiet exterior, regional foes are busy preparing for the next conflict, which is certain to erupt sooner or later.

“Because both sides expect a conflict, eventually it happens,” Hartwell said.

Israel has poured millions of dollars into developing defensive shields against the makeshift rockets often fired from Gaza as well as the more sophisticated weapons used by Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia in its 2006 war with Israel, or the medium-range missiles in the arsenal of arch-foe Iran.

AFP: Amid Gaza calm, Israel and Hamas prepare for battle

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