By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Douglas Hamilton - GAZA - More Israeli forces left the Gaza Strip on Monday after a 22-day assault on Hamas militants, and both sides kept a ceasefire, allowing dazed Palestinians to survey the destruction and mourn their dead.
In Jabalya refugee camp, the scene of heavy fighting, not a house was unscathed. Huge piles of uncollected garbage rotted on street corners. Children scavenged for empty plastic bottles.
Israel withdrew its forces from built-up parts of coastal Gaza, Israel Radio said. Political sources said Israel would complete its troop pullout by Tuesday, before Barack Obama is sworn in as U.S. president.
Israel was seen by some as interested in having its troops back home by the time Obama takes office to avoid any friction with its closest ally's new leader.
read more digg story
Gaza devastated after onslaught
Jan 18 - Gaza residents survey the devastation after Israel declares a unilateral ceasefire
Hundreds of Palestinians remained homeless after Israel levelled homes as they fought Hamas by air, ground and sea.
Bodies were pulled from collapsed buildings as more victims of the final hours of fighting before a unilateral Israeli ceasefire was called were taken to hospital.
Penny Tweedie reports.