Published on 5 Aug 2014 Sections , , ,

Gaza ceasefire live: Israel withdraws troops

Israel and Hamas enter a 72-hour truce mediated by Egypt with a view to encouraging negotiations on a more enduring end to the month-old Gaza war.

The ceasefire, which is meant to last 72 hours and allow for negotiations in Cairo on a more durable cessation of hostilities, began at 8 am (0500 GMT).

Minutes before, air raid sirens sounded throughout southern Israel and as far north as outlying areas of Jerusalem, triggered by a volley of rockets that Hamas claimed responsibility for. There was no immediate word of casualties.

Israeli troops

Israeli ground forces withdrew from the Gaza Strip ahead of the truce, with a military spokesman saying their main goal of destroying cross-border infiltration tunnels had been completed.

Troops and tanks would be “redeployed in defensive positions outside the Gaza Strip and we will maintain those defensive positions,” spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said, reflecting Israeli readiness to resume fighting if attacked.

Gaza officials say the war has killed 1,834 Palestinians, most of them civilians. Israel says 64 of its soldiers and three civilians have been killed since fighting began on July 8, after a surge in Palestinian rocket launches.

Israel was expected to send delegates to join talks in Cairo to cement a longer-term deal during the course of the truce.

Follow the Channel 4 News team in Gaza below.

Above: a NDTV exclusive report purports to show Hamas setting up rockets in the middle of a residential area.

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