'95 bodies discovered in Gaza rubble'

Palestinians say death toll from IDF offensive now 1,300; Rafah resident "very happy" about truce.

gaza rubble 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
gaza rubble 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Following the unilateral Israeli cease-fire in Gaza that went into effect early Sunday morning, Palestinians reported finding 95 bodies in rubble throughout the Strip. Dozens of the bodies were found in Beit Lahiya, in northern Gaza, and several were identified as belonging to Islamic Jihad gunmen. The new bodies brought the death toll from Operation Cast Lead to 1,300, Palestinians said. Gazans loaded vans and donkey carts with mattresses and began venturing back to their homes to see what was left standing after the IDF offensive. Bulldozers shoved aside rubble in Gaza City to clear a path for cars, while medical workers sifting through mounds of concrete discovered dozens of bodies in the debris. The Shahadeh family was loading mattresses into the trunk of a car in Gaza City, preparing to return to their home in Beit Lahiya. "I've been told that the devils have left," said Riyadh Shahadeh, referring to the Israelis. "I'm going back to see how I'm going to start again. I don't know what happened to my house. ... I am going back there with a heart full of fear because I am not sure if the area is secure or not, but I have no other option." In the southern town of Rafah, where Israel bombed dozens of smuggling tunnels, construction worker Abdel Ibn-Taha said he was "very happy about this peace." "We're tired out," he said.