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August 5, 2014 9:34 am

Israel Pulls Troops Out of Gaza, Begins 72-Hour Ceasefire

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An Israeli soldier directing deployment of troops on Gaza's border. Photo:IDF. The Israel Defense Forces pulled its ground troops out of Gaza on Tuesday after the completion of its work to neutralize terror tunnels, while Israel began a 72-hour cease-fire with Hamas at 8 a.m.

“This was a complicated operation carried out by heroic soldiers under difficult combat conditions,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who praised the “very impressive results” of Operation Protective Edge.

“The operation struck at a strategic network that Hamas had invested great effort in over the years,” said the prime minister. “These tunnels would have enabled Hamas to kidnap and murder civilians and IDF soldiers by launching simultaneous attacks from the many tunnels that penetrate our territory.”

Israel destroyed 32 cross-border tunnels in its operation, the IDF said.

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