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Children return to schools in Gaza after war

After a two-week delay hundreds of thousands of Gaza students return to school despite the destruction
Gaza students remember their classmates who have been killed or injured (MEE / Mohammed Asad)

GAZA CITY - School children across Gaza returned to their classrooms on Sunday, after a long summer that saw Gaza ravaged by the 50-day war with Israel.

According to the Ministry of Education, hundreds of schools or other educational facilities like kindergartens were damaged in the war, which claimed more than 2,100 - mainly civilian - Palestinian lives. On the Israeli side, 66 soldiers and six civilians were killed.

Gaza education ministry official Ziad Thabet said the opening was for 230,000 pupils who attend Gaza's public schools, the 200,000 going to UN-run schools and tens of thousands who were enrolled in other private institutions.

Hundreds of students were killed in the war, leaving many of their classmates suffering from stress and shock with emotions running high on the first day back.

The opening was delayed for two weeks because of damage to schools, many of which suffered structural as well as more superficial damage.

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