Residents of Beit Hanoun in Gaza are finally getting the chance to assess the damage after days of intensive fighting. Israel has pulled out of the town after its biggest operation in the Palestinian territory in a year. At least 56 people have been killed, half of them reported to be civilians. Amid mounting condemnation over the number of residents killed, the Israeli army says the aim was to stop rocket attacks by militants and its troops never intentionally fired on civilians.
The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has told the West the situation will do nothing to help restore security and stability. The operation has come to an end six days before talks in Washington between the Israeli prime minister and the US president.