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.

Israeli forces have left the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces announced, following the start of a planned cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

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
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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