This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.
Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index
BBC Learning English Launch BBC Media Player
  • Help
  • Text only
You are in: Learning English > News English > Words in the News
Learning English - Words in the News
19 January, 2009 - Published 13:14 GMT
Fragile peace returns to Gaza
Palestinians search through the rubble of their buildings destroyed during Isreali strikes near the Rafah border in the southern Gaza Strip, on January 18, 2009

Israeli tanks and soldiers are beginning to withdraw from Gaza and life in the Strip is beginning to return to some sort of normality, as a tense calm follows three weeks of fighting between Israel and Hamas. Our correspondent Christian Fraser reports from Gaza City:

Listen to the story

There were traffic jams on the road north, families heading to Gaza City to reunite with friends and relatives. Long lines of cars backed up at the makeshift roadblocks the Israelis have left behind. But the tanks are gone, only the deep tracks remain.

There were buildings pitted with Israeli tank rounds; from the holes that have been punched in the walls it was clear there had also been snipers waiting for them. North of Khan Younis we saw some of the Qassam fighters returning home, their rifles slung lazily around their shoulders.

The destruction we've seen has largely been inflicted on the Hamas infrastructure: police stations, military outposts, government buildings, so far the most extensive damage - that at the border in Rafah where nothing was spared.

For three weeks the Israelis pounded the tunnels that run beneath the perimeter wall but last night we met people who insist that some of these tunnels are still open and still some fuel is being pumped from the Egyptian side; impossible for us to verify independently, but they say they are determined to reopen them and to dig them deeper. If the border crossings remain close, say the Palestinians, these tunnels are their only link to the outside world.

Christian Fraser, BBC News, Gaza

Listen to the words

heading to
moving towards


pitted with
with many small holes caused by

people whose task it is to shoot other people from a hidden location

slung lazily around
not being used but hanging over

inflicted on
caused/done to

military outposts
small military bases in remote areas or different country

nothing was spared
everything was severely damaged

to verify
to check

very firm in their desire to do something and not letting anyone or any difficulties stop them

To take away:
Lesson planDownload or print (21 K)
Latest stories
27 May, 2011
Destruction of smallpox virus delayed
25 May, 2011
Micro-finance 'misused and abused'
20 May, 2011
Lonely planets
18 May, 2011
Germany to invest in more electric cars
16 May, 2011
Argentina builds a tower of books
Other Stories