Israeli Troops Leave Gaza With Cease-Fire in Effect

PHOTO: Israeli reserve soldiers are seen on the top of an armored personnel carrier returning to Israel from Gaza Strip, southern Israel, Aug. 4, 2014.PlayTsafrir Abayov/AP Photo
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Israeli forces have left the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces announced, following the start of a planned cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

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The truce, agreed to by both sides in the nearly month-long war, is slated to last for three days.

With the cease-fire going into effect today, the Israeli forces will monitor the situation from areas outside Gaza.

"The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] is maintaining defensive positions around the Gaza Strip and will respond to attacks if they arise," IDF officials said.

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During the 72-hour truce, Israel and Hamas are slated to hold indirect talks in Cairo on a broader deal that would prevent future cross-border violence. Previous international attempts to broker a temporary halt in the fighting have failed.

PHOTO: Palestinian women look at the al-Bakri family home destroyed by an Israeli strike in Gaza City, Aug. 4, 2014.Hatem Moussa/AP Photo
Palestinian women look at the al-Bakri family home destroyed by an Israeli strike in Gaza City, Aug. 4, 2014.

A large barrage of rockets were fired at Israel before the cease-fire went into effect, IDF officials said.

The IDF trumpeted the destruction of Hamas tunnels leading from Gaza into Israel today, a major focus of the conflict.

The war has claimed nearly 1,900 Palestinian lives, most of them civilians – as well as 67 Israelis, all but three of them soldiers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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