Gaza: The conflict that gave ceasefires a bad name

This is a war that has given ceasefires a bad name. And 24 hours into the latest truce, no one here in Gaza is truly confident it will stick. War or peace, today we spent time with those whose lives can never be the same again.

On the beach in front of our hotel a group of boys kicked a football over the sands. Just a few weeks ago, there had been eight of them, playing innocently on the same spot when they were hit by Israeli shells. Four died and four lived.

Moutasem was one who survived. Credit: ITV News

We met the survivors today. Among them Moutasem, 11, and small for his age. You might remember him from the news reports; lying in great distress, his t-shirt bloody from shrapnel wounds. His physical scars are healing, but not the deeper psychological hurt. He no longer likes to play football on the beach.

No one in Gaza is truly confident the truce will stick. Credit: ITV News

"I can’t understand why they attacked us," he tells me. "We are children. We are not fighters. Maybe they are scared that we will grow up to be in the resistance."

The shattered streets of Gaza. Credit: ITV News

The talks in Cairo, mediated by Egypt in which Hamas and Israel refuse to deal directly, are probably the last best chance for a peace agreement. If they fail, the outcome could be to a long war of attrition. And more boys like Moutasem, for whom life is no longer a game.