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BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip (AP) — Thousands of Gaza residents who had fled Israel-Hamas fighting streamed back to devastated border areas during a lull Saturday to find large-scale destruction: scores of homes were pulverized, wreckage blocked roads and power cables dangled in the streets.
Palestinians retrieved dozens of bodies from the rubble of Gaza homes Saturday during a brief truce in the fighting, as top diplomats huddled in Paris to discuss a long-term ceasefire. With a fragile 12-hour humanitarian truce between Israel and Hamas in place, ambulances sped along roads to neighbourhoods that have been too dangerous to enter for days. Half-way through the truce, they had already found the bodies of 85 people in the rubble across Gaza, pushing the death toll to 985 Palestinians killed in the coastal enclave since the conflict began on July 8. Palestinians ventured onto Gaza's streets after the truce took effect, some eager to check on homes they had fled, others to stock up on food and other items while it was still safe to do so.