Gaza Ceasefire Begins; Israel Troops Withdraw

Next step: talks on lasting truce

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 5, 2014 7:32 AM CDT | Updated Aug 5, 2014 7:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – Just before an Egypt-brokered ceasefire took hold in Gaza this morning, both sides exchanged fire. Several hours into the truce, however, things have been calm, the Washington Post reports, while the Guardian sees a chance at a "definitive end" to the latest conflict. Israel says it has withdrawn all its troops from Gaza, pointing to support for the Egyptian effort, the New York Times notes. The latest from the region:

  • Israel has finished destroying border tunnels, local media report, boosting the odds of a more lasting ceasefire, the Guardian notes. But both sides are wary, spokespeople tell CNN. "We are entering this with our eyes open," says an Israeli government rep. "We have been burnt more than once."
  • A British government minister has resigned over the UK's Gaza policy, calling it "morally indefensible." Sayeeda Warsi, a senior minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, tweeted her fears of a "detrimental impact on our reputation internationally and domestically," CNN reports.
  • The AP sees signs that Hamas could let Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas take charge of rebuilding operations, despite former divisions. And there's plenty of rebuilding to be done. "Peace? What peace?" a student near Gaza City asks CNN. "We have no home, no water, no power … There is no peace here."
  • The death toll now stands at 1,865 Palestinians—about 70% civilians, the UN says—and 67 Israelis, including three civilians, both sides report, per CNN. The next step: Talks in Egypt to forge a longer-term agreement, the Times reports.

Israeli soldiers walk in a staging area near the Israel Gaza border, Saturday, August 2, 2014.
Israeli soldiers walk in a staging area near the Israel Gaza border, Saturday, August 2, 2014.   (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
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