JERUSALEM: Gaza fell silent on Tuesday after a month of intense combat, as a 72-hour truce accepted by Israel and Hamas came into effect and the last Israeli troops left the battered enclave.
Just minutes before the ceasefire took hold, however, Israel’s military and Hamas both engaged in displays of firepower, seemingly determined to have the last word on the 29th day of their hostilities.
Sirens wailed in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv as Hamas fired a barrage of 16 rockets over the border, one of which hit a Palestinian home in West Bank, causing damage but no injuries, witnesses said.
And in Gaza, Israeli warplanes staged at least five air strikes before the truce took hold, AFP correspondents said. Israel also said all of its troops had withdrawn from Gaza after completing a mission to destroy a sophisticated network of cross-border attack tunnels, ending a ground operation which began on July 17.
“All of them have left,” General Moti Almoz told army radio.Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said troops would be “deployed in defensive positions” outside of Gaza and would retaliate to any violation of the truce, which was announced by Egypt late on Monday.
Source : APP