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02 March 2024

Israel completes Gaza troop withdrawal

A Palestinian man stands in the window frames of a destroyed mosque on January 20, 2009 in the southern part of Gaza City, Gaza (GETTY IMAGES)

By Reuters
Israeli forces completed a withdrawal from the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, three days after Israel and Hamas declared separate ceasefires, a military spokesman said.

Israel had withdrawn most of its forces before US President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Tuesday, in a move analysts saw as an attempt not to cloud the start of a new era in a key alliance.

Hamas, announcing a ceasefire on Sunday hours after an Israeli-declared truce went into effect, had demanded Israeli troops quit the territory within a week.

Israeli attacks in a 22-day Gaza offensive killed 1,300 Palestinians and made thousands homeless. Gaza medical officials said the Palestinian dead included at least 700 civilians.