Israel withdraws all forces from Gaza as cease-fire takes effect

 

Israel Defense Forces has withdrawn all troops from the Gaza Strip as a three-day cease-fire took effect on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

The IDF said its forces would still be stationed around portions of Gaza’s perimeter.

"The IDF is maintaining defensive positions around the Gaza Strip and will respond to attacks if they arise," the IDF said, according to ABC News.

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On Twitter, the IDF confirmed it had accomplished its goal in Gaza of destroying Hamas-built tunnels that militants used to infiltrate Israel.

“Mission accomplished: We have destroyed Hamas' tunnels leading from Gaza into Israel. All of Israel is now safer,” the tweet said. 

A 72-hour cease-fire took effect at 8 a.m. local time Tuesday, which both Israel and Hamas reportedly agreed to on Monday. Delegations from both sides are expected to hold indirect negotiations in Cairo to seek a longer-term deal. 

Just before the truce took effect, the IDF said Hamas had launched nearly 20 rockets at Israel.

“Minutes before today's 8:00 AM ceasefire began, Hamas fired 17 rockets at Israel. The Iron Dome intercepted 6 of them,” it said. 

The ground invasion, which began on July 17, lasted about three weeks. Nearly 1,900 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have died during the conflict and 67 Israelis have also died, most of them were soldiers.

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