Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Israeli troops ‘withdraw from Gaza’

Israel has announced the withdrawal of all of its troops to “defensive positions” outside the Gaza Strip.

Israel pounds Gaza
Raids continued in Gaza throughout Monday evening

Lt-Col Peter Lerner told reporters Israeli forces would have left Gaza before a 72-hour truce, scheduled for 08:00 local time (05:00 GMT).

Israeli media reports had claimed the main aim of the conflict – to destroy militants’ tunnels – had been achieved.

Gaza officials say the four-week conflict has killed 1,800 Palestinians. Some 67 Israelis have also died.

A Thai national working in Israel was also killed.

The withdrawal announcement came moments before the latest truce was due to come into force.

“The Israel Defence Forces will be redeployed in defensive positions outside the Gaza Strip and we will maintain those defensive positions,” Col Lerner said.

Reuters news agency had earlier reported several Israeli broadcasters as claiming that Israel’s main war aim of destroying tunnels used by militants had been achieved. BBC News