Israel begins Gaza withdrawalJanuary 19th, 2009 - 12:59 am ICT by IANS
Jerusalem, Jan 18 (Xinhua) The Israeli army Sunday evening began withdrawing its troops from the Gaza Strip, hours after Hamas announced its one-week ceasefire plan. Footage of the Israeli TV Channel 10 showed that Israeli tanks and soldiers were moving towards the border from inside the Palestinian enclave.
An Israeli military official requesting anonymity confirmed that the pullout has started. It is still unknown how many troops Israel would withdraw at the current stage.
Channel 10 said the army would pull out part of its forces as part of its redeployment.
Earlier in the day, Hamas and other Gaza militant groups announced that they would hold fire for one week to let Israel withdraw its troops.
However, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said in a statement that it rejects any ceasefire with Israel, adding that, “the armed resistance is to continue as long as there is one Israeli soldier in Gaza”.
The Jewish state, which staged a ceasefire since 2.00 a.m. Sunday, said that its troops will remain in Gaza and will consider a withdrawal if Hamas ends its rocket fire against southern Israel.
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