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Gaza fishermen take to water again after ceasefire

Fisherman load a horse-drawn cart before delivering their haul to market after a limited number of boats were allowed to return to the sea following a cease-fire reached after an 11-day war between Hamas and Israel, in Gaza City, May 23, 2021. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Fisherman load a horse-drawn cart before delivering their haul to market after a limited number of boats were allowed to return to the sea following a cease-fire reached after an 11-day war between Hamas and Israel, in Gaza City, May 23, 2021. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The frenzied shouts of an auctioneer at Gaza City’s main fishing port have brought a welcome reprieve from the din of gunfire and explosions, as life begins slowly returning to normal, following 11 days of hostilities between Hamas and Israel.

Israeli security forces prevented fishermen from sailing during the conflict, but they have began allowing a limited number of ships to set out beginning yesterday, as Egyptian mediators work to firm up a ceasefire that took effect Friday.

Gazans take pride in their seafood, and the return of fishing buoys hopes that the ceasefire will hold.

After a night out on the water, fishermen have unloaded their bounty of crabs, shrimp and other fish at first light at Gaza City’s al-Mina port, where Hamas police are 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.

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