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 slowly began returning to normal following 11 days of hostilities between Hamas and Israel.
Israeli forces prevented fishermen from sailing during the conflict, but they began allowing a limited number of ships to set out beginning Saturday as Egyptian mediators worked to firm up a ceasefire that took effect on Friday.
Gaza Palestinians take pride in their seafood, and the return of fishing buoyed hopes the ceasefire will hold.
After a night out on the water, fishermen unloaded their bounty of crabs, shrimp and other fish at first light on Sunday at Gaza City’s al-Mina port, where Hamas security officers 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 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.
The recent war saw Israel unleash hundreds of air attacks across Gaza. Hamas and other armed groups fired more than 4,000 rockets towards Israel. At least 248 Palestinians were killed and 12 people in Israel died.