Hopes and fears amid 12-hour Israel-Gaza truce

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As Saturday’s temporary truce took hold, Palestinians came out onto Gaza’s destroyed streets to recover their dead and stock up on food supplies.

Dozens of bodies have been found under rubble since the fighting stopped, according to local health officials.

Sheltering at a UN-run facility, Alaa Zaied called for a long-term ceasefire.

“We don’t want to keep waiting for a truce day after day. We are in a very, very bad situation here. We are homeless and living in the schools. Our children are very tired.”

“When they said there would be a 12 hour ceasefire, we got ready to return home because if there is a truce, we want to feel free,” said another man who has found refuge in the school, Mesbah al-Sultan.

“The Arab nations are all asleep, just sitting doing nothing – the kings and heads of state. Shame on them!”

In the shadow of Israeli tanks, Gaza’s people have been searching through the debris for their belongings.

In Israel, the truce and conflict itself have sparked mixed reactions.

“Personally, I think everybody is fed up with the situation,” said Tel Aviv resident Shahar Binon.

“I think we have done whatever we need to do – both parties, by the way, not only the Israeli party. And I think we have to end it and we have finished our business there.”

But fellow Tel Aviv dweller Alex Guttman expressed exasperation with Hamas.

“A ceasefire this time, the second time or the third time, maybe, is like giving another bullet to someone that tried to kill you on the first time and missed.”

Nineteen days into this conflict, neither Israelis nor Palestinians know when or how it will end.

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