An open-ended cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip was holding Wednesday, as many people on both sides of the conflict wondered what was gained during 50 days of fighting.

The Gaza war — the third round of fighting since the Islamic militant group Hamas seized power in 2007 — left more than 2,200 people dead, caused widespread destruction in the densely populated coastal territory and paralyzed large parts of southern Israel during much of the summer.

After more than seven weeks of fighting, the two sides settled for an ambiguous interim agreement in exchange for a period of calm. Hamas, though badly battered, remains in control of Gaza with part of its military arsenal intact. Israel and Egypt will maintain a blockade tightened seven years ago, despite Hamas’ long-running demand that the border restrictions be lifted. […]