Inside Gaza, life goes on amid airstrikes

Amid the debris from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, life goes on as much as it can for the 1.6 million Palestinians living in this small, densely populated Mediterranean enclave, the CBC's Derek Stoffel reports.

'If they stop the killing, so will we,' Gazan tells CBC reporter Derek Stoffel

Crews work to restore power in Gaza City on Wednesday after an Israeli airstrike downed lines overnight. (Derek Stoffel/CBC)

When I went to one of the main market areas in Gaza City, it was bustling. Produce sellers belted out the prices for their tomatoes and cucumbers. Men lined up for bread at the bakery. Women stood patiently as the butcher chopped up their chicken.

Life goes on in Gaza, as much as it can. About 1.6 million Palestinians live in this small Mediterranean enclave the size of Detroit — making it one of the densest places on Earth judged at a national level. The market remains open, but it’s hard to find potatoes and lemons. Tomatoes cost five times more than they did a week ago. Supplies of milk and cooking oil are running low.

"It's expensive. I cannot buy what I am used to," said Jameila Abusaid. But she was stocking up, as much as she could, after she heard about the bus attack in Tel Aviv.

Several homes and government offices in Gaza were reduced to rubble. (Derek Stoffel/CBC)

"I have to make sure I have enough food for my family," she said. "I am afraid that the Israelis will want to take revenge. Maybe increase the airstrikes. Or even they will come inside Gaza and have a war."

Despite everything, yesterday there was still a sense of hope among many Gazans, that after nearly a week of bombs and shells from Israel's military, a ceasefire was close. A truce finally came into force today.

While I was in the market, the local radio station broadcast news about the Tel Aviv attack. Young men around me started to scream "God is great," in support of the bombing. A few set off celebratory firecrackers.

I asked a man, Majdi Halabi, why there were celebrations after this attack. He just shrugged. "If they stop the killing, so will we. We have no choice but to attack their buses, because they have attacked our homes."