On Saturday tens of thousands of children picked up their school bag once again and headed for school.

Things are starting to return to normal just seven days after Israel ended its fierce military operation against the territory's militant Hamas rulers.

Children returning to school presents another step back to normality for Gaza's 1.4 million residents, seven days after a cease-fire was called, ending Israel's 3-weeek air and ground assault in the tiny coastal territory, aimed at stopping Hamas rocket fire on southern Israel.

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights the onslaught killed 1,285 Palestinians, including some 280 children.

Thirteen Israelis, including three civilians, were also killed during the fighting, according to the government.

Gaza's public schools have been run by Hamas since they took over the territory in 2007. There are also many schools that are run by the United Nations of which more than 200,000 children attend.

Of course, the first thing we have to do is a roll call to see who has, and who has not, survived the conflict, said U.N. spokesman Chris Gunness told the Associated Press.

The fighting damaged more than 30 U.N. schools were damaged in the fighting. The schools were also sought as refuge by thousands of Gazans fleeing clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants in border areas, and by others whose homes were destroyed in the fighting.

In the U.N.'s Fakhoura Elementary school in the northern Gaza Strip town of Jebalia, three chairs in an eighth-grade class were adorned with the names of students who were killed during the offensive.

During the fighting, Palestinian militants fired rockets from next to the school, where hundreds of Gazans had huddled, according to witnesses. Israeli forces responded by lobbing back mortars that hit near the school and killed around 40 people, mostly civilians, according to Palestinian health officials.

The U.N.'s relations with Israel have been strained, most recently because Israeli military shelling in Gaza damaged around 50 buildings belonging to the international organization.