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Palestinians sift through rubble as Gaza truce holds

GAZA CITY: A tenuous ceasefire held throughout Monday in Gaza, where Palestinians sifted through the rubble and Hamas vowed to fight on after the Jewish state's deadliest war on the territory.

No air strikes, rockets or fighting was reported by either side for the first time since Israel launched its massive assault on December 27.

Israel had declared a unilateral ceasefire on Sunday and begun pulling back from Gaza City while Hamas and other militant groups kept to a week-long truce.

Some stores raised their metal shutters as Hamas police reappeared on the streets to direct traffic and people dug through the rubble to recover what they could -- clothes, a television, books, tins of food.

Najette Manah, three small children in tow, clutched a box of rice that she found amid the debris of what used to be her home.

"We don't have homes anymore. I don't have anything anymore," she said.

However, Hamas's armed wing spat defiance at a televised news conference, vowing to rearm and warning Israel it would face more rocket attacks if it did not withdraw all its forces from the coastal enclave by next Sunday.

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