Thousands of Gaza residents who had fled Israel-Hamas fighting streamed back to devastated border areas during a 12-hour truce Saturday to find large-scale destruction: scores of homes were pulverized, wreckage blocked roads and power cables dangled in the streets.
After the temporary truce took effect at 8 a.m., Gaza streets quickly filled with Palestinians trying to stock up on supplies or returning to devastated areas to inspect their homes. Ambulances of the Red Crescent reached the hardest-hit areas, including Beit Hanoun and the eastern Shujaeya district of Gaza City, to recover bodies.
Eighty-five bodies were pulled from the rubble throughout Gaza, many of them partially decomposed, said Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra.
In the southern town of Khan Younis, 20 members of the same extended family, including at least 10 children, were killed by tank fire that hit a building on the edge of town, said Kidra.