PHOTOS: Gazans use ‘ceasefire’ to pick up the pieces

Photos and text: Anne Paq, Basel Yazouri / Activestills.org

Tens of thousands of Palestinians returned to their homes across the Gaza Strip on July 26, after a 40-hour humanitarian ceasefire was agreed to between Israel and Hamas. Over 200,000 Gazans have been displaced since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, due to Israeli airstrikes across the Strip. The ceasefire came to an end on Sunday morning after rockets exploded in Israeli territory overnight, and Israel’s refusal to agree to an extension offered by Hamas.

The airstrikes destroyed homes, UN schools and hospitals last week, leaving a trail of devastation and bodies buried underneath the rubble. In places such as Shujaiyeh, and Abasan, Gazans spent the day digging for bodies and belongings in the rubble of their former homes.

However some locations, such as Beit Hanoun and Khuza’a, were out of reach for Palestinians. The dozens of residents of Khuza’a who fled the village, were fired at when they tried to return. Some residents are still trapped under the remains of houses, cut off from the outside world.

Damage is seen inside the Al Aqsa hospital following an Israeli attack, Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza., July 26, 2014.The direct attack, which took place on July 21, killed at least five Palestinians and injured 70.Israeli attacks have killed more than 1,000 Palestinians and injured around 5,000 in the current offensive.
Damage is seen inside the Al Aqsa hospital following an Israeli attack, Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza., July 26, 2014.
The direct attack, which took place on July 21, killed at least five Palestinians and injured 70.
Israeli attacks have killed more than 1,000 Palestinians and injured around 5,000 in the current offensive.

 

Palestinians inspect damages to a destroyed ambulance in the Shujaiyeh neighborhood in east Gaza City during a ceasefire, July 26, 2014. During the July 26 ceasefire, many Palestinians went back to Shujaiyeh to inspect the damages, while medics attempted to rescue the wounded or collect bodies. Dozens of bodies were collected but many below the rubble, as Palestinians do not have all the necessary equipment for digging. Israeli attacks have turned the neighborhood into a scene of utter devastation, with entire buildings flattened and thousands forced to flee.
Palestinians inspect damages to a destroyed ambulance in the Shujaiyeh neighborhood in east Gaza City during a ceasefire, July 26, 2014. During the July 26 ceasefire, many Palestinians went back to Shujaiyeh to inspect the damages, while medics attempted to rescue the wounded or collect bodies. Dozens of bodies were collected but many below the rubble, as Palestinians do not have all the necessary equipment for digging. Israeli attacks have turned the neighborhood into a scene of utter devastation, with entire buildings flattened and thousands forced to flee.

 

Damage is seen inside the Al Aqsa hospital following an Israeli attack, Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza., July 26, 2014.
Damage is seen inside the Al Aqsa hospital following an Israeli attack, Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza., July 26, 2014.

 

Palestinians pass by destroyed buildings in Shujaiyeh during a ceasefire, July 26, 2014.
Palestinians pass by destroyed buildings in Shujaiyeh during a ceasefire, July 26, 2014.

 

The burned home of Fares Abu Teir, following an Israeli attack on Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis, July 26, 2014. During the ceasefire on 26 July, many Palestinians went back to Abasan to inspect the damage together with medics who attempted to rescue wounded or collect bodies.
The burned home of Fares Abu Teir, following an Israeli attack on Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis, July 26, 2014. During the ceasefire on 26 July, many Palestinians went back to Abasan to inspect the damage together with medics who attempted to rescue wounded or collect bodies.

 

A funeral in Bani Suhaila, east of Khan Younis, for the 21 members of the Al-Najjar family, who were killed just before the ceasefire, July 21, 2014. The Al-Najjar family fled their homes in Khuza’a to take refuge further west. Khuza’a has been under heavy attack, with many fleeing after the Israeli army occupied the village. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)
A funeral in Bani Suhaila, east of Khan Younis, for the 21 members of the Al-Najjar family, who were killed just before the ceasefire, July 21, 2014. The Al-Najjar family fled their homes in Khuza’a to take refuge further west. Khuza’a has been under heavy attack, with many fleeing after the Israeli army occupied the village. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

 

Funeral in Bani Suhaila for the 21 members of the Al-Najjar family, who were killed just before the ceasefire, July 21, 2014.
Funeral in Bani Suhaila for the 21 members of the Al-Najjar family, who were killed just before the ceasefire, July 21, 2014.

 

A woman mourns for her young child who was killed by an Israeli airstrike over an UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun, July 24, 2014. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)
A woman mourns for her young child who was killed by an Israeli airstrike over an UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun, July 24, 2014. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

 

Palestinians inspect the damage in the village of Abasan, East of Khan Yunis, July 26, 2014. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)
Palestinians inspect the damage in the village of Abasan, East of Khan Yunis, July 26, 2014. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

 

A huge crater is seen in place of a home that was bombed during an Israeli attack, Bani Suheila, July 26, 2014. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)
A huge crater is seen in place of a home that was bombed during an Israeli attack, Bani Suheila, July 26, 2014. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

 

A Palestinian shows pieces of an Israeli missile in Abasan, July 26, 2014. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)
A Palestinian shows pieces of an Israeli missile in Abasan, July 26, 2014. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

 

Palestinians search for wounded or dead bodies under the rubble of the home of Abu Teir family, which was bombed during an Israeli attack on Absan, July 26, 2014. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)
Palestinians search for wounded or dead bodies under the rubble of the home of Abu Teir family, which was bombed during an Israeli attack on Absan, July 26, 2014. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

 

A Palestinian family sits for a meal after evacuating their house in Beit Hanoun. The family now lives in a store near Kamal Edwan Hospital in Jabalya, July 24, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)
A Palestinian family sits for a meal after evacuating their house in Beit Hanoun. The family now lives in a store near Kamal Edwan Hospital in Jabalya, July 24, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

 

Palestinians walk through a destroyed quarter in Shujaiyeh neighborhood in the east of Gaza City, during a ceasefire, July 26, 2014.
Palestinians walk through a destroyed quarter in Shujaiyeh neighborhood in the east of Gaza City, during a ceasefire, July 26, 2014.

 

Palestinians walk with their belongings in Shujaiyeh. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)
Palestinians walk with their belongings in Shujaiyeh. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Related:
PHOTOS: Ten killed across West Bank in Gaza solidarity protests
Gaza war diary: ‘No one is safe, everyone is a target’
Israeli, Hamas war crimes becoming increasingly hard to distinguish

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