GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Gazans have begun clearing rubble and inspecting damage to shops and homes inflicted by an eight-day Israeli military offensive against the territory's Hamas rulers.
After a night of wild celebrations following the announcement of an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire, cars jammed the streets of Gaza City on Thursday morning. Work crews are fixing dangling electricity wires and collecting garbage that had piled up on street corners.
The truce raises hopes of a new era in relations between Israel and Hamas. The two are now to negotiate a deal that would open the borders of the blockaded coastal strip.
The week-long fighting killed 161 Palestinians, including 71 civilians. Five Israelis were also killed. It was the worst bloodshed since an Israeli invasion of Gaza four years ago that left hundreds dead.