Learning English - Words in the News
19 January, 2009 - Published 13:14 GMT
Fragile peace returns to Gaza
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:
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
slung lazily around
nothing was spared
To take away:
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