Mideast

Israelis Gone from Gaza

On Wednesday, three days after Israel and Hamas declared separate cease fires, Israeli forces were completely removed from the Gaza Strip. A military spokesman said, “As of this morning, the last of the Israel Defense Forces soldiers have left the Gaza Strip and the forces have deployed outside of Gaza and are prepared for any occurrences.” Israel withdrew most forces before Barack Obama’s swearing in ceremony, presumably not to create ill will with the new administration. The 22-day offense resulted in the deaths of 1,300 Palestinians, including 700 civilians, say Gaza medical officials.