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GAZA CITY: Calm returned to Gaza Sunday as a fragile ceasefire ending five days of fighting held, leaving Palestinians and Israelis to count the cost of cross-border fire which has killed dozens.

Fishermen took to their boats in the coastal Palestinian enclave, as Gazans emerged from sheltering in their homes during the fierce exchange of fire.

The fighting broke out Tuesday with Israeli strikes on the Islamic Jihad militant group. It ceased late Saturday following days of truce talks led by Egypt.

As the skies fell silent, residents were left to mourn the 33 people killed in the Gaza Strip, as well as the two in Israel — a Palestinian labourer from the blockaded territory and an elderly Israeli.

After the ceasefire took effect, ambulances and fire trucks drove in convoy in Gaza while Palestinians gathered in the streets to celebrate.

More than 50 homes were destroyed and around 950 people displaced in Gaza, said the United Nations citing local officials.

“We’re on the street, there’s no home for my children or their children,” said Mohammed al-Louh, whose house was destroyed by Israeli strikes.

“After the ceasefire, we have an ongoing tragedy because of the great scale of the destruction,” his relative said, standing beside the rubble.

Medics said 190 people were wounded in Gaza and 30 in Israel — seven with injuries resulting from Palestinian rocket fire and the rest while heading to shelters.

Authorities on Sunday lifted movement restrictions imposed on Israelis living near the Gaza border.

In the coastal Israeli city of Ashkelon, resident Michelle Weiss warned the fighting is “not finished”.

“Now I’m free, now I can go out, go to the sea, go to walk, but I know it will begin again,” she told AFP by the beach.

UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland welcomed the truce and said he was “deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries”.

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