Incredible Photos of Gaza’s Cease-fire Celebrations

A boy holds a banner and a rifle while driving up a mainstreet in Gaza City as the ceasefire celebrations begins. Photo: Loulou d’Aki

Swedish photographer Loulou d'Aki didn't know that when she arrived back in Gaza on Sunday after a trip home, she would be photographing joy, not war, just two days later.

On Tuesday, Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed on a long-term cease-fire that paves the way for meaningful negotiations about constructing a port in the territory and other long-term demands. As the announcement came down, d'Aki was in the midst of a photo shoot after a night of heavy bombardment in the Strip. All of a sudden, the children in the apartment ran to the windows as they heard the first sounds of celebration, while the TV began showing a feed of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas speaking from Ramallah.

Once she got outside, d'Aki saw the streets swell with people — women, children, and men on motorbikes or in cars — and makeshift stages quickly being assembled for the celebrations. Many of the celebrants wore headbands in green for Hamas, or yellow for Fatah. On Gaza City's main street, d'Aki reports seeing fireworks and hearing singing, as well as celebratory gunshots fired into the air. "It was sweaty, crowded, crazy," she writes. —Katie Zavadski

A family waits outside an ice cream parlour as they celebrate the ceasefire in Gaza City. Most shops and resaturants were closed during the war. Photo: Loulou d’Aki
Palestinian men watch fireworks from a rooftop in Gaza City. Photo: Loulou d’Aki
A father drives his son, dressed up as a fighter, down a mainstreet in Gaza City. Photo: Loulou d’Aki
A crowd gathers around a little boy as he demonstrates how a fighter would crawl. Photo: Loulou d’Aki
A little girl puts her hands over her ears to protect herself from the sound of gunshots and fireworks. Photo: Loulou d’Aki
Women and children wave banners in Suraya, Gaza City. Photo: Loulou d’Aki
A Palestinian man sings as he's carried down Omar El Mukhtar Street on a friend’s shoulders. Photo: Loulou d’Aki
A fighter shakes the hand of a little boy as he drives through the streets of Gaza City. Photo: Loulou d’Aki
A man blows fire as he is carried on a friend’s shoulders through the crowds. Photo: Loulou d’Aki
A fighter stands on the hood of a car as it drives through a mainstreet in Gaza City. Photo: Loulou d’Aki