Israel Withdraws From Gaza As Truce Holds

Israel Withdraws From Gaza As Truce Holds
August 06 03:49 2014 Print This Article

Israel pulled its last soldiers out of Gaza Strip on Tuesday after four weeks of fighting as temporary truce went into effect aimed to give the sides three days to negotiate a longer-term deal.

The Israeli army said in Tel Aviv that its ground troops had withdrawn to the Israeli side of the border, where they would remain on alert and respond to any attacks.

A military spokeswoman in Tel Aviv said Israelis and Gazans were cautious as to whether the truce would last, after earlier ones collapsed.

Peter Maurer, International Committee of the Red Cross Chief, said as soon as the 72-hour truce took effect at 8 am (0500 GMT), the main streets and markets in the battered coastal territory were filled with traffic and people.

He said parents and children sifted through the rubble of destroyed homes for essential items.

Maurer said the areas near the border with Israel have been hard hit from Beit Hanoun in the north, Shejae’ya in western Gaza City, and Rafah in the south.

He said this was as a result of sniper, mortar, anti-tank missile and bomb attacks launched by the Palestinian militants at Israeli ground troops, while Israel used massive shelling and airstrikes.

“I’ve never seen such massive destruction before. I have a deep feeling of shock at what I’ve seen and anger that we weren’t able to prevent what has happened’’, he added.

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