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Israel Says Gaza War Cost $2.5 Billion

Palestinians return to the remains of their house after the ceasefire was declared, in the east of Gaza City. Aug. 27, 2014.

Israel says its 50-day war against Hamas militants in Gaza cost more than $2.5 billion.

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told an economic conference in Tel Aviv this week that a large part of the cost came from more than 6,000 attacks Israeli forces carried out on targets in the Palestinian enclave along the Mediterranean, mostly airstrikes.

But he said the country also spent $100,000 each time its Iron Dome missile defense system shot down one of the 600 rockets the militants fired across the border at the Jewish state - a $60 million cost.

Yaalon acknowledged that even with the weeks of attacks, Hamas still has a sizable arsenal remaining. He said the militants began the conflict with 10,000 explosives and still have about 2,000 left.

More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed in the conflict, most of them civilians, while Israel sustained 72 casualties, all but six of them soldiers.

The warring sides agreed last week on an open-ended cease-fire and are set to soon begin more negotiations in Cairo on contentious issues - Israel's demand that Hamas be disarmed and the Palestinians' call for the end to Israel's blockade of Gaza and the opening of a harbor and airport.