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Middle East

Many Schools Re-Open In Gaza, Despite Problems

Photographs taken one week apart show a U.N. school in Beit Lahia on Saturday, as boys wait to return to class from recess, and the same area on Jan. 17, when a Palestinian man tried to extinguish a fire after an Israeli strike. Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

Photographs taken one week apart show a U.N. school in Beit Lahia on Saturday, as boys wait to return to class from recess, and the same area on Jan. 17, when a Palestinian man tried to extinguish a fire after an Israeli strike.

Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of children in the Gaza Strip have returned, less than a week after Israel ended its military attack against the Hamas-ruled territory.

Most United Nations-run schools, and many of Gaza's public schools, re-opened Saturday, after nearly a monthlong closure due to the fighting.

But nothing was normal about the school day: More than 30 U.N. schools were damaged in the war and still need repair. In addition, some schools and local government buildings are still sheltering refuges who fled the violence or whose homes were destroyed by Israeli air and artillery strikes.

Other parents said their kids were too scared of renewed violence and opted to stay home. Civilians across large stretches of Gaza still face serious sewage, power and water problems.

Nearly 1,300 Gazans were killed in the fighting, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and medical officials. Thirteen Israelis died in the conflict.