Israeli ground troops start withdrawing

Gaza City - Ground troops withdrew from the Gaza Strip on Sunday as Israel wrapped up an operation to destroy tunnels, but airstrikes continued, killing at least 15 Palestinians, among them 10 members of one family.

A military official said that most combat troops were back in Israeli territory by Sunday morning. Officials stressed that some soldiers would remain in key positions, especially on the inside of the Gaza-Israel border, between the first lines of houses and the border fence.

They said they expected the tunnel demolitions to be completed within the next 24 hours, cutting off Palestinian militants' access to Israel to kill or capture soldiers or civilians.

Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said Israel would pay a price whether it remains in Gaza, withdrew or chose to negotiate.

The Israeli army acknowledged on Sunday that a missing soldier earlier believed to have been captured had been killed in combat.

A special committee led by the military's chief rabbi concluded on the weekend that Lieutenant Hadar Goldin had been killed on Friday.

Military operations continued especially in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, the scene of heavy fighting since Friday.

The Palestinian death toll has risen to at least 1 737 since 8 July, including about 400 children, the Gaza health ministry said.

Likeitis 2014-08-03 11:56:44 AM
Israel has been persecuting the Palestinians for over six decades. Shame on Zionists and their supporters. Palestine will be free.
Likeitis 2014-08-03 11:56:48 AM
Israel has been persecuting the Palestinians for over six decades. Shame on Zionists and their supporters. Palestine will be free.
Agness Makgoka 2014-08-03 11:57:28 AM
I wonder how foolish Obama feels now
Bob Shawcroft 2014-08-03 12:05:52 PM
Job well done Israel. Now they can start from scratch again. Surely hamas must now concede that their fairy god is not even on their side? I mean, this was an EPIC failure. Israel must continue to protect her citizens.
Ozias Dirango Ncube 2014-08-03 12:11:46 PM
Poor kids used as shields
Finya Ngendololwane 2014-08-03 12:14:32 PM
Israelis are ever fighting with Hamas and Arabs are known to never to give up the fight or forgive their enemies. Wrong people to pick a fight with and Hamas are getting smarter and smarter which means next round will be even deadlier. Very sad situation
Francis Ncube 2014-08-03 12:43:32 PM
What price is Israel going to pay as only the palestinians are taking the short end of the stick? Hamas is responsible for all these deaths thats just the truth
Victor Fedrick 2014-08-03 01:07:14 PM
UN security council and the entire Un bodies is becoming irrelevant,too much innocent blood are shared accross the globe on daily bases.
Coenraad Vaneeden 2014-08-03 01:12:21 PM
Job well done
Mohau Moloto 2014-08-03 01:45:28 PM
Israel is behaving like a terrified cornered animal with rabies, just lashing out at everything, they blew up yet another UN school.