Hamas claims “victory”, says Israelis pull back

GAZA (Reuters) – Hamas declared a “victory” in the Gaza Strip on Monday after the Palestinian militant group and residents said Israeli troops had pulled back to the border from positions taken inside the north of the enclave in recent days.

“The enemy has been defeated,” a Hamas spokesman said.

An Israeli military spokesman said the ground offensive, launched along with heavy air strikes after a deadly cross-border rocket salvo by Hamas on Wednesday, was still winding down.

“Only a few units remain in the field,” the spokesman said.

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