Calm returned to Gaza on Sunday as a tenuous ceasefire ended five days of violence, leaving Palestinians and Israelis to tally the toll of cross-border shelling that killed scores.
Fishermen flocked to the sea in the coastal Palestinian enclave as Gazans emerged from their houses, where they had been hiding throughout the violent exchange of fire.
Following days of peace talks coordinated by Egypt, the violence that erupted Tuesday with Israeli strikes on the Islamic Jihad rebel group ended late Saturday.
Residents were left to mourn the 33 persons murdered in Gaza, as well as two in Israel—a Palestinian laborer from the region and an elderly Israeli—as the sky went silent.
Following the implementation of the ceasefire in Gaza, ambulances and fire engines traveled in convoy while Palestinians gathered in the streets to celebrate.
According to local officials, more than 50 homes were destroyed and over 950 people were displaced in Gaza, according to the UN.
“We’re on the street, there’s no home for my children or their children,” said Mohammed al-Louh, whose house was destroyed by Israeli strikes.
“After the ceasefire, we have an ongoing tragedy because of the great scale of the destruction,” his relative said, standing beside the rubble.
According to medics, 190 individuals were injured in Gaza and 30 in Israel—seven from Palestinian rocket fire and the remainder while trying to get to shelters.
Tor Wennesland, the UN Middle East envoy, praised the truce and expressed “deep sadness” for the loss of life and injuries.
On Sunday, Israel reopened its two border crossings with Gaza, the closure of which had impacted Palestinians with work permits or permission to obtain vital medical treatment not accessible in the impoverished region.
The evacuation also allowed supplies of medicine, food, and fuel to reach the blockaded enclave.
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