On Friday, the 21st of May 2021 Israel and Palestine signed a ceasefire, ending weeks-long oppression between, and families have started looking forward to a certain level of alleviation of suffering caused by the events leading to today.
According to New York Times, tens of thousands, the first step for the Palestinians would be leaving the UN-run schools where grater than 75,000 people had sought shelters from the airstrikes, as UN buildings serve as neutral territory.
Families emerged on Friday with bags and other essentials heading back to their homes, hoping and praying that they would still keep standing.
While some have nothing to return to except the rubble of memories of their homes and houses, and the uncertain future for themselves and their young offspring.
According to international media sources, almost 1000 residential units along the Gaza strip had been destroyed along with the five residential towers downed. The number of affected businesses due to compromised infrastructure remains unassessed.
That according to media reports, bombing also leveled three mosques in Gaza, damaged 17 hospitals and clinics and dozens of schools, wrecked its only Covid-19 testing laboratory, and cut off freshwater, electricity, and sewer service for much of the enclave.
According to the latest fatality reports by the Gaza Health Ministry, the aerial campaign by Israel has killed more than 243 people in Gaza, a majority of who were civilians. The Palestinians lost a shockingly high number of 66 children. Similarly, rockets were fired from Hamas too, allegedly killing 12 people in Israel as well.
The Fresh clashes broke out at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday, testing the truce. According to the Palestinian news agencies, the Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) broke in as people got done with their Friday prayer and were celebrating peace.
However, the ceasefire seemed to have held through Friday night. Israel has temporarily opened a crossing into Gaza, allowing food, fuel, and medicine into the territory. The country has also lifted emergency restrictions inside its own borders.
According to the NY Times, on Friday, rescue work was still underway hours after the cease-fire took effect at 2 a.m. Workers digging in what appeared to be a destroyed Hamas tunnel found five bodies and pulled about 10 survivors from the rubble.
However, Gaza is blockaded by the Egyptian and Israeli sides, and according to Israel, the movement shall be highly regulated between borders to deter Hamas from gaining military capabilities.
That means Palestine’s ability to import and export from the territory, get access to medical care outside it or fish off its coast is limited even after ceasefire, except the limited opening by Israel as mentioned above. Unemployment reportedly tops 50 percent. Almost no one can leave.
An excerpt from BBC reads, “Gaza’s streets are bursting back into life with the truce only hours old. It’s the first time in nearly a fortnight people have been able to go outside in relative safety. Entire families step over rubble and children tiptoe through the smashed glass. They look up at wrecked buildings but seem to take it in their stride. Perhaps seeing the aftermath is easy compared with the terrifying experience of living through the airstrikes themselves.”
This paints the picture of post-crisis Palestine, as the Israeli oppression subsides owing to the ceasefire.