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Israeli troops retreat as 72-hour ceasefire holds

Israeli troops retreat as 72-hour ceasefire holds
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Israel has pulled its troops out of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and has begun a 72-hour ceasefire with Hamas.

The truce, which appears to be holding, was mediated by Egypt and is the first step towards negotiations to end the current fighting that has raged for a month.

Israel has said its aim of destroying militant tunnels from Gaza into its territory has been achieved.

“The IDF has retreated from the Gaza Strip to the border. We currently have no forces within the Gaza Strip. We are on defensive positions taking into consideration the ceasefire and therefore we are safeguarding the communities from further potential threats, potential tunnels that maybe we didn’t get,” Lieutenant Colonel Peter, Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson.

Earlier, the IDF said Hamas had fired over 3,000 rockets during Operation Protective Edge.

A least 1860 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the current conflict with the UN estimating that a majority of those were civilians.

67 Israelis have also died as a result of the fighting.