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Israel continues troop withdrawal


Source: | 01-20-2009 09:34

Special Report:   Israel airstrikes in Gaza

Israeli forces are pulling out of the Gaza Strip, after a tentative truce with Hamas. Palestinians are now taking stock of the devastating three-week war in which both sides are claiming victory.

Israel began withdrawing troops from the Gaza Strip on Sunday as a fragile unilateral ceasefire came into effect after its deadliest offensive ever launched on the battered Palestinian territory.(AFP/Dmitry Kostyukov)
Israel began withdrawing troops from the Gaza Strip on 
Sunday as a fragile unilateral ceasefire came into effect 
after its deadliest offensive ever launched on the 
battered Palestinian territory.(AFP/Dmitry Kostyukov)

Cigarettes instead of weapons. An uneasy peace returns to the Gaza Strip and Israeli troops are pulling out of the territory.

The head of Hamas in Gaza has called the conflict a strategic victory for all Palestinians. He praised the resistance factions in the coastal strip for observing the ceasefire.

Ismail Haneya, Hamas leader in Gaza, said, "This victory manifested itself in the enemy's defeat on the political, militarily and moral level. It failed in achieving its goals and in imposing its conditions on our people and our brave resistance."

Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, declared the mission accomplished, saying the goals of the operation in Gaza had been met in full.

Ehud Olmert, Israel prime minister, said, "We want to leave the Gaza Strip as quickly as possible as soon as we are sure that the ceasefire exists and is stable and there is no danger to the security of southern Israel."

Though no timetable is yet from the Israeli government, analysts say a swift withdrawal of Israeli troops might reduce the likelihood of clashes that could rupture the truce.


Editor:Zhang Yun