A fisherman takes a drag from his cigarette while sorting shrimp on deck after a limited number of boats are allowed to return to the sea following a cease-fire, in Gaza City, Sunday, May 23, 2021 AP
The frenzied shouts of an auctioneer at Gaza City's main fishing port brought a welcome reprieve from the din of gunfire and explosions as life begins slowly returning to normal following 11 days of
an Israeli aerial and artillery offensive on the coastal enclave.
Israeli security forces prevented fishermen from sailing during its offensive, but they began allowing a limited number of ships to set out beginning Saturday as Egyptian mediators worked to firm up a cease-fire that took effect Friday.
Gazans take pride in their seafood, and the return of fishing buoyed hopes that the ceasefire will hold.
After a night out on the water, fishermen unloaded their bounty of crabs, shrimp and other fish at first light Sunday at Gaza City's al-Mina port, where Hamas police were present to maintain order.
Buyers were already waiting to make their bids on boxes of fish arrayed on the ground after being unloaded from the boats, where young boys working as deckhands assisted older men in sorting and washing their catch.
The fish were then loaded onto horse-drawn carts for delivery to local markets.
Meanwhile Sunday, hundreds of municipal workers and volunteers began clearing rubble from Gaza's streets.
The work began outside a high-rise building that was flattened by Israeli warplanes during the early days of airstrikes on Gaza, with workers loading rubble into donkey carts and small pickup trucks.
At least 243 Palestinians were killed during the Israeli offensive.
*This story was edited by Ahram Online.