The fragile calm in Gaza seems to hold, despite the killing of a young Palestinian man near the border fence in Khan Younis on Friday, which has raised fears of another escalation. Young people celebrating the ceasefire have been approaching the border to pray and to attach flags to the fence. Nineteen were injured and one killed when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fired at them.
The people of Gaza used the official holiday on Friday to mourn their beloved ones, to rest, and to somehow find a way back into daily life.
The first heavy winter storms, accompanied by strong winds, rain, and cold temperatures, brought further hardship to all those living in damaged homes. In addition to the buildings that were totally or partially destroyed, a lot of windows have been blown out during the intensive Israeli Air Force bombardments, and for many there was no time to put up plastic sheets to protect their families from wind and rain. Strong thunder has scared the population, mainly children, as many thought the airstrikes had started again.
Shops and offices were open as of Saturday and all services have resumed. More than two-thirds of the commercial tunnels in Rafah have been partially or totally destroyed. The Kerem Shalom crossing is back to the opening times implemented before the escalation, with closures on Fridays and Saturdays.