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Israel withdraws all soldiers from Gaza Strip


Source: | 01-22-2009 09:34

Special Report:   Israel airstrikes in Gaza

The Israeli military said Wednesday that it's withdrawn all its soldiers from the Gaza Strip.

The pullout follows a punishing three-week military campaign and a truce that took effect on Sunday.

A convoy of Israeli military vehicles after crossing into Israel from the Gaza Strip January 18, 2009.(Amir Cohen/Reuters)
A convoy of Israeli military vehicles after crossing
into Israel from the Gaza Strip January 18, 2009.
(Amir Cohen/Reuters)

The UN Security Council has welcomed the ceasefire in Gaza. The Security Council adopted a statement on the cease-fire, proposed by Britain and France.

The endorsement came after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed the council on his just-concluded Middle East tour, including stops in Egypt, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria.

The Palestinian permanent observer to the United Nations -- Riyad Mansour -- says the UN Chief's remarks were "appropriate."

The Israeli military said the withdrawal was completed before dawn on Wednesday.

Major Aital Leibovich, Israeli Defense Forces Spokeswoman, said, "Early this morning the last Israeli soldier left the Gaza Strip and the forces are now re-deploying in the area outside the Gaza Strip, ready for any type of scenarios, any type of possibilities."

Both sides declared parallel ceasefires that took effect on Sunday.

Israel reported an incident of mortar shelling from Gaza on Tuesday, but no injuries.

The Palestinians said Israeli troops had shot dead two farmers since the fighting had stopped.

Meanwhile, residents of an eastern neighborhood of Gaza City searched for their belongings amongst the rubble of shattered buildings on Wednesday.

Um Jaber Abu Ghraim, Gaza City Resident, said, "After 20 days we came back and found our house in ruins, we couldn't find our mattresses, we couldn't find flour, we couldn't find our sheep. We found nothing."

Residents said more than 100 houses were demolished in the neighborhood.

World leaders have pledged to assist efforts to rebuild Gaza's ruined infrastructure.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei