Gaza clears rubble, buries dead as truce with Israel holds

New York: An Egypt-brokered ceasefire to halt a flare-up in fighting by Israel and Palestinian militants was holding on August 8, with crossings into the besieged Gaza Strip also reopening.

An Israeli army spokesperson said no new rockets had been fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip since the ceasefire to end three days of violence that Palestinians said left more than 40 dead took effect late on August 7, reports DPA news agency.

Israel also announced the re-opening of border crossings into the Mediterranean coastal strip for humanitarian deliveries.

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

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.

Israel insists that some of the civilian deaths including children were killed by Islamic Jihad rockets that fell short or misfired.

The Israeli military launched the “Breaking Dawn” military operation on August 5 with airstrikes against Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.

Tensions began to rise with the arrest of an Islamic Jihad leader in the West Bank, Bassem Saadi, on August 1. In Gaza, 44 people have been killed and 360 injured, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Among the dead were said to be 15 children and four women.

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