Gaza After the Bombardment

The 72-hour cease-fire agreed to by Israel and Hamas is set to expire tomorrow morning. As negotiators in Egypt work hard to extend the truce, Palestinians have been taking advantage of the relative peace to return to their homes and neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip, assessing the vast damage after a month of bombardment. Israel announced that all of its troops had withdrawn from the Gaza Strip after completing a mission to destroy a sophisticated network of cross-border attack tunnels, ending a ground operation which began on July 17. Gaza officials say the war has killed 1,834 Palestinians, most of them civilians. Israel says 64 of its soldiers and three civilians have been killed since fighting began on July 8.
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1. Backdropped by the damaged minaret of the Al-Azba mosque, a Palestinian smokes a cigarette as he sits on rubble of the Nada Towers, at a residential neighborhood in the town of Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, on August 5, 2014. Israel and Hamas began observing a 72-hour cease-fire on Tuesday that sets the stage for talks in Egypt on a broader deal on the Gaza Strip, including a sustainable truce and the rebuilding of the battered, blockaded coastal territory.




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2. A Palestinian youth holds a window frame as he inspects a destroyed building in the Al-Shejaea neighborhood of Gaza City on August 5, 2014.




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3. A member of the Shabat family inspects the damage upon returning to the family house, destroyed by Israeli strikes in the town of Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, on August 5, 2014.




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4. A Palestinian searches for salvageable items from the rubble of his home that was destroyed in Israeli strikes in Beit Lahiya on August 4, 2014.




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5. A Palestinian boy writes on a shrapnel-riddled blackboard at the heavily damaged Sobhi Abu Karsh school in Gaza City's al-Shejaea neighborhood on August 5, 2014, after a 72-hour humanitarian truce went into effect.




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6. A shell lies on the ground at the heavily damaged Sobhi Abu Karsh school in Gaza City's al-Shejaea neighborhood on August 5, 2014.




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7. A Palestinian boy plays inside a shrapnel-riddled car in Gaza City's al-Shejaea neighborhood on August 6, 2014.




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8. A Palestinian man walks past writing on a wall allegedly left behind by Israeli soldiers who used the Beit Hanun High school for girls as an advance base during its military offensive against the Hamas-held Gaza Strip, on August 5, 2014.




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9. Some military instructions in Hebrew and a map of a school are seen on a blackboard after Israeli soldiers withdrew from the Beit Hanun High school for girls which was reportedly used as an advance base during Israel's military offensive against the Hamas-held Gaza Strip, on August 5, 2014.




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10. The Star of David, drawn on several light switches in a girl's high school that was used by Israeli soldiers in Beit Hanoun town, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during the Israeli offensive, on August 5, 2014.




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11. Food wrappers lie on a desk, left in a classroom where a military crest and some graffiti in Hebrew and Arabic were drawn on a blackboard after Israeli soldiers withdrew from the Beit Hanun High school for girls, on August 5, 2014.




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12. Palestinians sit next to their destroyed house after returning to the Shejaia neighborhood, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during the Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City, on August 5, 2014.




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13. A Palestinian man salvages a child's bicycle from a destroyed home following an earlier Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 6, 2014.




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14. Palestinian men look at what used to be a tunnel leading from the Gaza Strip into Israel, in the area of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 5, 2014. Israel said all of its troops had withdrawn from Gaza after completing a mission to destroy a sophisticated network of cross-border attack tunnels, ending a ground operation which began on July 17.




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15. Debris caused by an Israeli strike on July 21 fills an abandoned patient room at the Al Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir el-Balah, central Gaza Strip, on August 6, 2014. Several Palestinian doctors from the West Bank volunteered and crossed into Gaza Wednesday to offer their help with the wounded.




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16. A Palestinian inspects destroyed houses and the area where the Al-Wafaa hospital used to stand in the Al-Shejaea neighbourhood of Gaza City on August 5, 2014.




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17. A Palestinian searches through rubble of his destroyed home hit by Israeli strikes in Khuzaa, east of Khan Younis, in the northern Gaza Strip, on August 5, 2014.




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18. Displaced Palestinian Yasmine Omar Al Attar, 10, sits in a U.N. school where her family had sought refuge during the war in Gaza City, on August 6, 2014. The family from the town of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip said they are scared to move back to their house as they consider the cease-fire still fragile.




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19. A Palestinian boy stands next to the remains of a mosque in Khuzaa town, which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during Israeli offensive, in the east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 6, 2014. With its spacious villas and palm-lined streets, the town of Khuzaa in southern Gaza gave Palestinians a rare place to spend their free time before it was bombed and shelled to rubble last month. Around 500 meters from the Israeli border, Khuzaa is now only accessible via cratered roads strewn with debris. Nearly all of its homes have been flattened and its nine mosques lie in pieces.




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20. Asmahan Abu Al-Rous sits next to her destroyed house in Rafah's district of Shawkah in the southern Gaza Strip on August 5, 2014. The attack at the Shawkah district east of the Gaza town of Rafah drew what was by far the heaviest shelling by the Israeli military in the Gaza war, killing nearly 100 people that day alone and instantly unraveling a three-day ceasefire shortly after it came into force.




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21. Palestinian electricity company workers drag a power line, one of many which were destroyed following an earlier Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 6, 2014.




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22. A Palestinian man carries an empty shell in the Al-Shejaea neighborhood of Gaza City on August 5, 2014.




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23. Palestinians inspect the damage at Nada Towers, in a residential neighborhood in the town of Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, on August 5, 2014, the damaged minaret of the Al-Azba mosque in the background.




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24. A Palestinian man cleans up a room in his sister's house as bullet casings are found on the floor, left by Israeli soldiers, in Rafah's district of Shawkah, on August 5, 2014.




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25. A drawing on the wall in the house of the Abu Louli family, who say it was left by Israeli soldiers, in Rafah's district of Shawkah in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 5, 2014.




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26. The ruins of destroyed houses in the Shejaia neighborhood, east of Gaza City, on August 5, 2014.




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27. A donkey stands inside a destroyed shop in the northern Gaza Strip on August 5, 2014, as a 72-hour humanitarian truce went into effect.




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28. A tree stands amid the ruins of destroyed homes in the Shejaia neighborhood in Gaza City on August 6, 2014.




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29. (1 of 3) Palestinians rescue ten-year-old Mahmoud al-Ghol from under the rubble of a house in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 3, 2014.




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30. (2 of 3) Palestinians pull Mahmoud al-Ghol from the rubble of a house in Rafah on August 3, 2014. Ten-year-old Mahmoud was pulled alive from beneath the rubble of a house, which witnesses said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike that killed nine members of the his family.




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31. (3 of 3) Mahmoud al-Ghol lies in bed, recovering, at the European Hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on August 5, 2014.