On June 19, 2008, an Egyptian-brokered “lull” or pause in hostilities between Israel and Hamas went into effect. The term “lull” is a translation of the Arabic term Tahdia. According to The New York Times, neither side fully respected the terms of the cease-fire.
The agreement required Hamas to end rocket and mortar attacks on Israel and to enforce the lull throughout Gaza. In addition, Israel insisted that the agreement includes an end to Hamas's military buildup in Gaza and movement toward the release of Corporal Shalit. In exchange, Hamas expected the blockade to end, commerce in Gaza to resume, and truck shipments to be restored to 2005 levels, which was between 500 and 600 trucks per day. Israel tied easing of the blockade to a reduction in rocket fire and gradually re-opened supply lines and permitted around 90 daily truck shipments to enter Gaza, up from around 70 per day. The above increase in supply trucks never began to approach what Hamas thought it was going to get. Hamas criticized Israel for its continued blockade while Israel accused Hamas of continued weapons smuggling via tunnels to Egypt and pointed to continued rocket attacks.
The UN recorded seven IDF violations of the ceasefire between June 20 and June 26, and three violations by Palestinian groups not affiliated with Hamas between June 23 and 26. On December 18, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, reported 185 Israeli violations during the lull period. The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reported a total of 223 rockets and 139 mortar shells fired from Gaza during the lull, including 20 rockets and 18 mortar shells before November 4. It noted that "Hamas was careful to maintain the ceasefire" until November 4, when the ceasefire was "seriously eroded." Rocket fire decreased by 98 percent in the four and a half months between June 18 and November 4 when compared to the four and a half months preceding the ceasefire.
Hamas denied responsibility for the rocket fire during the 'lull'. However, Human Rights Watch reported that while Hamas security forces demonstrated an ability to curb rocket fire, some people detained for firing rockets were summarily released without explanation.