The US-United Nations brokered humanitarian truce had offered respite for the residents of Gaza a chance to return to homes from which many had fled during the fierce fighting.
Hundreds made their way back but for some there was still uncertainty.
“Where shall we go? Either we will be relocated to a school or on the street, or they can find us a tent. We need a solution. There were eight families in that house,” said Abeer Wahden a resident of Beit Hanoun.
What the UN said was “urgently needed humanitarian relief” was destined for the people of Gaza and the opportunity to restock their dwindling food supplies and carry out other vital tasks.
“The truce will allow each of us to move, to go and see our houses, land, children, and to visit the wounded, and to see our martyrs,” explained one man.
In Gaza city there was a buzz around the market stalls as a sense of normality seemed to return. But in the calm an uncertainty haunted some.
“I don’t trust this truce. Last time, they said there was a ceasefire and they started bombing us, before we could escape Shujahia, they shot at us, and we started to run,” stressed a woman shopper.
People had emerged from their shelters with hope but it had lasted just a few hours. Now the 1.7 million people of Gaza are caught once again in the middle of a conflict.