London:  The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Tuesday announced the withdrawal of all of its troops to “defensive positions” outside the Gaza Strip.

An IDF officer said that Israeli forces left Gaza before the start of a 72-hour truce, scheduled for 8.00 a.m, BBC reported.

The Israeli army had claimed the main aim of the conflict – to destroy militants’ tunnels – has been achieved.

Gaza officials say Israel’s Operation Protective Edge which started July 8, has killed 1,800 Palestinians.

Some 67 Israelis have also died.

“The IDF will be redeployed in defensive positions outside the Gaza Strip and we will maintain those defensive positions,” the officer said.

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