Israel: troops withdraw from Gaza for cease-fire

Posted at 5:37 AM, Aug 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-05 05:37:31-04

JERUSALEM (CNN) — The Israeli military said Tuesday that it has withdrawn its ground troops from Gaza for a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire in the conflict with Hamas.

Israel is implementing the Egyptian-brokered truce, which came into effect Tuesday morning, from “defensive positions” outside of Gaza, an Israel Defense Forces spokesman said.

Israeli officials had previously indicated they were winding down their ground operation in Gaza, which was aimed at demolishing Hamas’ network of tunnels that extends under the border.

The Israeli military said Tuesday it had destroyed 32 of the tunnels, some of which were used by militants to launch attacks on Israeli soil during the conflict.

Officials from the United Nations and United States, who have been pushing for a cease-fire for weeks, hope that the three-day pause will allow negotiations to take place for a more lasting peace.

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