Israel and Hamas began observing a temporary fragile truce on Tuesday.

Gaza 1Gaza was calm but tense Tuesday morning as Israel and Hamas again embarked on a 72-hour cease-fire and Israeli forces began withdrawing from the Palestinian territory after a month-long campaign.

Gazans venture out onto the streets once again even though no previous cease-fire in this conflict has lasted more than a day.

Horse carts and bicycles rode down the streets along with cars. At the beach, fishermen again cast their nets from the shore. A few boats were out on the water.

But the cease-fire, set for 8 a.m. local time, remained fragile. The IDF said a barrage of 20 rockets was fired into Israel around the deadline. The crash of one was heard in a hotel where foreign journalists were staying eight minutes before cease-fire was to begin. An Israeli drone could still be heard circling above Gaza City.

A Hamas-run news station reported that two houses were hit by Israelis in northern Gaza.

The truce brokered by Egypt set the stage for a new round of indirect talks in Cairo between Israel and the Islamist rulers of Gaza on terms for ending the deadliest of their three conflicts in less than six years.

The fighting left Hamas in charge of a territory with severe shortages of electricity or clean water and at least 260,000 of its 1.8 million people displaced, the U.N. said.(...)


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