Jerusalem: Israel has withdrawn all its forces from the Gaza Strip, wrapping up a ground operation launched on July 17, a military spokesman confirmed Tuesday.
"There were a number of forces inside ... but all of them have left" the Palestinian territory, General Moti Almoz told army radio.
The withdrawal of troops, which began on Saturday, was completed before the start of a 72-hour truce agreement which went into effect at 0500 GMT.
"We are, according to the government`s directive, implementing a 72-hour ceasefire this morning from 8:00 am," Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said.
"The IDF (army) will be deployed in defensive positions outside the Gaza Strip.
"The IDF will respond if it is attacked."