Israel withdrawing some troops from Gaza

Israel began withdrawing thousands of troops from Gaza as “prolonged fighting” is expected to continue into the new year, the Israeli military said.

In a Monday statement, the Israel Defense Forces said five brigades, consisting of several thousand troops, are being taken out of the Gaza Strip over the coming weeks for training and rest. The decision marks the first significant military drawdown since Hamas’s October 7 terror attack on Israel and comes as the U.S. has been pushing Israel to scale back its retaliatory air and ground operations, which have killed more than 21,800 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.

When the mass troop withdrawal was first announced Sunday, IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari did not disclose how many Israeli troops were leaving the Palestinian territory at the time nor did he reveal whether the move meant a new phase of Israel’s war against Hamas. However, he did say the conflict will continue well into 2024.

“The IDF must plan ahead, understanding that we will be required for additional tasks and warfare throughout this year,” Hagari told reporters on New Year’s Eve. “The objectives of the war require prolonged fighting, and we are preparing accordingly.”

The announcement comes after Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Saturday that the war will continue for “many more months . . . until we have achieved all the objectives of the war, first and foremost the annihilation of Hamas and the release of all the hostages.”

Hamas killed approximately 1,200 people in Israel, most of whom were civilians, and abducted an estimated 240 hostages in early October. According to the IDF, the Palestinian terror group still holds 129 Israelis captive in Gaza after a temporary truce in late November freed over 100 hostages.

“There is no ‘happy’ New Year until they are all home,” the IDF posted on X as Israel celebrated the beginning of New Year’s Day.

In the same social-media post, the Israeli military said Hamas fired at least 27 missiles at Israel to ring in the new year, triggering the blaring of sirens across the nation. No injuries or damage were reported Monday morning, as most of the rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system and the rest fell in open areas.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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