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An Israeli army official told Israeli media on Monday that Israeli troops will leave Gaza by Tuesday. They had previously stated that they hoped to have the operation 'wrapped up' by the day of the Inauguration of Barack Obama as US President. The Inauguration is on Tuesday.
The Israeli official that spoke to the online daily Haaretz under conditions of anonymity said that Israeli tanks and troops started the withdrawal on Sunday night, adding that they are expected to finish by Tuesday, before the new US President, Barak Obama , is sworn in.
The Israeli government did not confirm the report, adding that if conditions in Gaza remain quiet the Israeli troops will leave.
The Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip began on Saturday December 27th, 2008, with aerial and sea bombardment. One week later Israel pushed tanks and troops into the coastal region. The military operation, which lasted for 22 days, has caused the death s of 1,300 Palestinians, among them at least 400 children, in addition nearly 6,000 Palestinians were left wounded.
On Saturday night Israel unilaterally announced a cease fire, but decided to keep troops in Gaza, meanwhile the Hamas movement, which was elected to the government by the Palestinian people in Jan. 2006, and has ruled the coastal region since June 2007, despite several attempted coups, then decided to implement a cease fire on Sunday.
On Sunday, after Israeli bombardment stopped and troops were pulled out of residential areas in Gaza city and nearby Jabaliya refugee camp, medical sources announced that medical crews have dug out at least 90 dead civilians from under the rubble. And now, on Monday, 12 more bodies have been uncovered.