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Palestinians return home during cease-fire


08-12-2014 10:26 BJT

Talks to end the month-old Gaza war have started again in Egypt. On Monday morning, Israeli negotiators returned to Cairo for talks with Egyptian officials and indirect discussions with Palestinian militants over a permanent truce and long-term arrangements. A second 72-hour truce appears to be holding between Israel and Hamas, allowing Palestinians to leave homes and shelters.

Shops opened and traffic returned to the streets on Monday as Gazans took advantage of a 72-hour ceasefire arrangement. Even banks in the besieged territory opened for a few hours as signs of normal life returned. Thousands of Gazans, displaced from border areas such as Shujaiyya, Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanoun and Rafah, began to return to their neighborhoods to check if their homes were still standing, and to salvage any belongings. Outside a United Nations-run school, cars and donkey carts waited to take some of the refugees back to homes they fled during the fighting.

"I think it’s just like at least what can guarantee for us just a decent life." Said Mohammed Abdullah, a journalist.

Meanwhile, during the Israeli Protective Edge operation on Gaza, business leaders here say Israeli forces targeted 80 percent of Gaza’s factories, putting the economy here in serious danger as 30 percent of Gaza’s goods are provided by local factories.On Sunday evening, shortly after both Palestinian political factions and Israel agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire, the Israeli warplanes targeted the Habbosh cleaning material factory. Meanwhile, the Israeli military reported some 30 rocket attacks from Gaza on Sunday.

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