Israel gradually pulls back its troops in Gaza after Hamas matches its ceasefire with a separate one of their own.
Some Israeli soldiers are remaining in the coastal strip in order to tackle any flare-ups in fighting – this goes against the militant’s demand for a total withdrawal – something which Israel is ignoring for now. Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh told his people the enemy had failed to achieve its goals, indeed 17 rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Sunday but that is far fewer than before. Israel responded with two air strikes after one of the rockets hit the village of Asdod causing damage but no deaths. But Israel is convinced it has achieved what it set out to do – that of bolstering its own security. Much needed UN humanitarian aid is getting through but one UN representative said that several depots had been destroyed along with health clinics and warehouses. It is hoped that if the sporadic fighting lessens, the ceasefire will become more firmly established allowing relief agencies to do their work. And as Palestinians emerged from their shelters to see what’s left of their homes and to bury their dead, it’s clear the enclave will be fully dependent on outside aid if they are to re-build their lives.