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As Truce Takes Effect, Israel Withdraws Troops From Gaza

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

After nearly a month of fighting, a negotiated, three-day peace has taken hold in Gaza.

As NPR's Emily Harris reports, Israel has also ordered all of its troops out of Gaza. But this may not mean the end of the current conflict, because the Israel Defense Forces said its troops would maintain a defensive position and respond to any attacks.

Case in point: By morning just before the truce started, Emily said she heard rocket fire out of Gaza. But things have calmed down and the AP reports that in Gaza "traffic picked up and shops started opening doors."

With that, here's what you need to know as the conflict in Gaza enters its 29th day:

-- The Peace Process:

The AP reports if this fragile cease-fire holds, the peace process may begin anew. The AP adds:

"Egypt plans to start shuttling between Israeli and Palestinian delegations in Cairo to work out new arrangements for Gaza. The territory has been virtually cut off from the world since a violent Hamas takeover in 2007 prompted a closure of the territory's borders by Egypt and Israel.

"But wide gaps remain and previous international attempts to broker a temporary halt in the fighting have failed. The Palestinian delegation, which includes Hamas representatives, demands an end to the closure and calls for rebuilding Gaza with international funds.

"However, Israel is reluctant to open Gaza's borders unless the Islamic militants are disarmed."

-- Tunnels Destroyed:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement applauding the operation in Gaza.

His troops, Netanyahu said, had successfully destroy a network of tunnels built by Hamas to attack Israel.

"As I said at the beginning there is no guarantee of 100% success, but we did everything to achieve the maximum," Netanyahu said, according to the Jerusalem Post.

-- 'Air To Breathe:'

The Los Angeles Times spoke to Abdullah Mustafa, a father of seven buying freshly baked bread in Gaza this morning.

"It's not just bread to eat," he told the paper. "Finally, God willing, some air to breathe."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Source: NPR

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