October 4 2022 4:34 AM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Palestinians in Gaza clear rubble, bury dead as Israel ceases attacks

1. Palestine 1
Palestinians carry the bodies of four teenagers from the Najm family, during their funeral in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip on August 8, 2022. The teens were killed during the three-day Israeli aggression on Gaza. (Photo: AFP)

GAZA, Palestinian Territories — Shell-shocked Gazans on Monday sifted through the rubble of three days of deadly aerial and artillery bombardments from Israeli occupation forces a truce held.اضافة اعلان

An Egypt-brokered ceasefire reached late Sunday ended the intense Israeli assault that killed 44 people, including 15 children, and wounded 360 in the enclave according to Gaza’s health ministry.

Israel had since Friday launched a relentless assault on Gaza, leading to Palestinian resistance fighters firing rockets in retaliation.

As relative calm returned to Gaza Monday, and electricity was restored, Palestinians tried to salvage their belongings from the rubble of shattered homes and to start clearing the debris.

“We received the news of the ceasefire with joy and happiness and we went back to our work,” said Gaza shopkeeper Hazem Douima.

“We did not want more bloodshed.”

Bereaved families buried their dead, including at one funeral joined by hundreds of mourners in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip where a family laid to rest four minors killed in the conflict.

“Gaza is tending to its wounds,” said one resident, Mohammed Alai.

Gaza’s sole power plant, after a two-day shutdown, “started working to generate electricity”, said spokesman Mohammed Thabet, hours after fuel trucks passed the reopened good border crossing.

Israel forces had sealed the roads around the strip last week citing a “security threat” following the arrest of a senior Islamic Jihad commander in the West Bank.

The outage had sparked fears about the impact on hospitals overwhelmed with casualties amid the worst Israeli aggression on Gaza since it launched an 11-day war on the strip in May 2021.

‘Right to respond’

Israeli forces said roads would gradually reopen in the border area.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s office late Sunday agreed to the truce but said that “if the ceasefire is violated”, Israel “maintains the right to respond strongly”.

Islamic Jihad also accepted the truce but said it too “reserves the right to respond”.

US President Joe Biden welcomed the truce and thanked Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for Cairo’s role in brokering it.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned it was “crucial to work to consolidate the ceasefire”.

Tehran said it will always “defend the active resistance”.

Islamic Jihad said 12 of its leaders and members had been killed.

The group’s Mohammad Al-Hindi said the ceasefire deal “contains Egypt’s commitment to work towards the release of two prisoners”.

They were named as Bassem Al-Saadi, a senior figure in the group’s political wing who was recently arrested in the occupied West Bank, and Khalil Awawdeh, a militant also in Israeli detention.

On Friday, Israeli occupation forces killed Taysir Al-Jabari, a commander of the Al-Quds Brigades, in a “targeted” air strike that killed 10 civilians, including a five-year-old girl.

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