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NEWS: Israel Ends Deadly Gaza Offensive

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posted on Oct, 15 2004 @ 10:50 PM
Israel has ended its two and a half week long offensive in the northern Gaza strip. The goal of the operation was to stop the firing of Qassam rockets from Gaza into Israeli settlements and Israel proper. More then 100 Palestinians were killed and hundreds wounded. The Gaza offensive, initiated by the deaths of two children from rockets fired from the Gaza Strip preludes Israeli"s planned withdrawal from Gaza next year.
JEBALIYA REFUGEE CAMP, Gaza Strip - Israel withdrew tanks and ground forces from populated areas in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday, wrapping up its bloodiest offensive in the area in more than four years of fighting.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered the pullback at the urging of Israeli military commanders, who argued the two-week offensive had played itself out, and after calls from the United States to wrap up the operation.

Since Israel launched the offensive Sept. 29, responding to a deadly rocket attack on the southern Israeli border town of Sderot, at least 109 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds more wounded.

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Ariel Sharon has vowed that Israel will not continue with his planned withdrawal from Gaza if the situation in Gaza does not calm down before hand. Israel does not want to be seen as retreating under fire. While the rocket firing has stopped for the time being, this allows Israel to retreat from a position of power. The Palestinian militants will no doubt use this time to build new rockets and prepare to resume their activities.

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