Displaced Palestinian children take shelter at the Abu Hussien United Nations school in the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on August 2, 2014. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)
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Some Israeli ground forces withdrew from the Gaza Strip Saturday, two Israeli television stations reported, after the military said it was close to achieving its main war goal of destroying Hamas cross-border tunnels.Several cease-fires between Israel and the Gaza Strip's dominant Islamist Hamas faction had failed to take hold or quickly collapsed, most recently Friday after two Israeli soldiers were killed and a third went missing in an ambush.Israel accused Hamas of seizing Lt. Hadar Goldin, and the United States blamed the group for a "barbaric" breach of the truce. A poll by Israel's Channel Ten TV found 32 percent of the public wanted a truce, 31 percent wanted ground forces withdrawn even without a halt to hostilities, and 31 percent wanted the military to step up operations, reoccupy Gaza and topple Hamas.With U.S. backing, Israel had said that whether or not there is a cease-fire its forces would pursue their main mission of hunting tunnels used by Hamas for several cross-border attacks.
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