Headline News


Israeli troops on border as pullout continues


Source: | 01-20-2009 14:10

Special Report:   Israel airstrikes in Gaza

After a parallel ceasefire went into effect on Sunday, thousands of Israeli troops have started pulling out of Gaza.

But large contingents of soldiers are still staying close to the border on the Israeli side. They are prepared to re-enter the enclave if violence re-ignites.

Israeli tanks provide security to soldiers returning to Israel early morning January 18, 2009 after a combat mission in Gaza.REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
Israeli tanks provide security to soldiers returning to
Israel early morning January 18, 2009 after a combat 
mission in Gaza.REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Israeli officials promise their troops will leave the Gaza Strip before United States President-elect Barack Obama is inaugurated on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Obama says peace in the Middle East is a priority for his administration.

No violations of the truce have been reported since Hamas entered into a ceasefire on Sunday afternoon. But the quiet remains tenuous for neither side has achieved their long-term goals. Thousands of Israeli soldiers and tanks remain on the border, preparing for possible violence.

An Israeli spokesman says Hamas has been dealt a heavy blow in the operation. Meanwhile, Gaza ruler Hamas said it was victorious despite the devastating three-week Israeli offensive on the coastal strip.

In the West Bank, Palestinian Prime Minister Salan Fayaad says the Israeli offensive has left devastating consequences.