Truce time: Israelis head back to beaches as Gazans return to the rubble to pick up the pieces of their lives
As the fragile ceasefire holds tonight between Israel and Hamas on the Gaza Strip, the contrast is stark.
People on both sides of the border have been leaving their shelters and returning to their homes today as they tried to get back to some semblance of normal life.
On the Israeli side, residents made the most of the ceasefire. In the southern city of Ashkelon, Israel, they headed to the beach. Yesterday Ashkelon had been subject to a barrage of rockets.
In Gaza the break in violence has revealed the full extent of the devastation to the Strip. People returned to their homes to find rubble.
However this morning, high school students in Gaza did try to get back to some normality. The streets there were filled as the pupils headed to pick up their graduation certificates after the Education Ministry said they'd be ready.
Hopes for an end to the bloodshed in the region were boosted after the two sides agreed to the Egyptian-brokered 72-hour truce, which went into effect at midnight local time on Sunday.
In Cairo, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said the ceasefire would allow humanitarian aid into battered Gaza neighborhoods and the reopening of indirect talks on a more lasting and comprehensive deal.
Israeli negotiators arrived in the Egyptian capital yesterday for talks on ending the month-old Gaza war which has killed 1,910 Palestinians and 67 Israelis.
In Gaza people waited to buy fuel for generators as power and communication workers struggled to fix cables damaged in the fighting, while long lines formed at ATMs.
The month-long war, pitting the Israeli military against rocket-firing Hamas militants, has killed more than 1,900 Palestinians, the majority civilians, Palestinian and U.N. officials say.
In Israel, 67 people have been killed, all but three of them soldiers, officials there say.
The ceasefire follows renewed violence since the last temporary deal lapsed. More than a dozen Palestinians were said to have died in Israeli airstrikes over the weekend, while mortar and rocket fire from Gaza had resumed.
Hamas is seeking an end to a painful Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Gaza, while Israel wants Hamas to dismantle its arsenal of rockets and other weapons.
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