Life on both sides of the Gaza Strip border began returning to normal on Sunday after an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire halted five days of fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad, which killed 34 Palestinians and an Israeli.
Israel reopened its goods and commercial border crossings, allowing fuel to flow to the lone power plant in the blockaded coastal enclave. Shops and public offices reopened and crowds returned to streets that had been deserted for days.
Leaders from both sides of the conflict confirmed their commitment to the truce, but gave different interpretations of the terms, such as whether Israel would end targeted killings of Palestinian militant leaders
“We will continue doing everything that has to be done with one consideration alone: What serves the security interests of the State of Israel,” Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, a member of Netanyahu’s security cabinet told Kan radio.
In Gaza, people were picking up the pieces after days of bombardment that Israel said targeted Islamic Jihad command centres and other military infrastructure but which also damaged or destroyed dozens of houses.