The Straits Times
Published on Nov 22, 2012

Joy in Gaza as truce holds, normal life returns


GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories (AFP) - Gaza's streets, empty and quiet during a week of violence, were once again flooded with cars and people on Thursday as life returned to normal after a truce deal between Hamas and Israel.

The contrast between the deserted roads of the past eight days, and the scenes of joyful chaos on Gaza City's thoroughfares on Thursday was almost comical.

"Move it, people! Go, go, go!" one frustrated Hamas policeman shouted in a futile attempt to diffuse a traffic jam, as a coffee vendor threaded his way between the cars.

The clogged streets would have been unthinkable 24 hours earlier, as Israeli missiles fell and Palestinian rockets were launched skywards.