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Israel pulls back from Gaza, invasion force intact

Published on Nov 23, 2012 5:54 AM
An Israeli reservist rests atop an armoured personnel carrier (APC) waiting to be transported off the Gaza border area on Nov 22, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ROUTE 232, Israel (REUTERS) - Israel began withdrawing the army on Thursday that had been poised to invade the Gaza Strip to go after Hamas, with both sides declaring they had won their eight-day battle.

Dust-covered tanks and armoured bulldozers were winched onto transporters and driven out of the same groves of straggly eucalyptus where they camped in January 2009 before going in.

That conflict cost more than 1,400 lives, all but 13 Palestinian, while this time, some 160 Palestinians were killed in eight days of fighting, against six Israelis.

Hamas nevertheless declared it had come out on top.

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