Driving through the city on Thursday it was apparent that life was slowly going back to normal for the people of Gaza. People are out and about on the streets, doing errands, visiting and shopping for much needed supplies.
For three weeks the markets have been closed. Schools have been closed. People huddled inside their homes, hoping that the next airstrike wouldn't hit their building. Those less fortunate have had to flee their homes, sometimes with only a few minutes warning of an impending airstrike, others had no warning at all, leaving only after their homes sustained damage.
Worst off are those who suffered casualties more dear than shattered windows and flying debris. They lost loved ones to missiles and tank-fire, their bodies pulled from downed buildings sometimes days later.
Now that the bombs have stopped falling and a cease-fire seems to be holding, comes the process of sweeping up the mess and getting on with life. All along the main streets of Gaza are piles of broken glass, swept up from the pavement, and ready to be cleared. Cardboard is mounted in empty window frames, to keep out the chill of the wintery night air.
Where buildings have crumbled upon the road, there is little that can be done but clear a path through the streets and move around the rubble. Cars, donkey carts and pedestrians all manoeuvre to find the easiest way from one place to another.
In the central market district, shops are open and the streets are packed with shoppers, finally able to purchase fresh fruit, vegetables and meat, most of which is local produce that has finally been able to make its way to shops. The fruit and vegetable market has been open for two days now. Other shops opened only on Thursday.