By Riches Soberekon
The Israeli army has revealed plans to withdraw several thousand troops from Gaza in the coming weeks.
While the army has not publicly stated whether this withdrawal signifies a new phase of the war, it aligns with the Israeli leaders’ strategy for a prolonged low-intensity campaign.
This campaign, expected to span much of the year, aims to target the remaining strongholds of Hamas.
Despite the planned withdrawal, fierce fighting continues in central and southern Gaza. The majority of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have sought refuge in the southern part of the densely populated enclave, resulting in over 85% of the population being displaced from their homes.
On October 7, 2023, a raid by Hamas in southern Israel led to the tragic loss of approximately 1,200 lives, with around 240 individuals taken hostage during the attack.
According to the Health Ministry in Gaza, which is under Hamas control, the total number of Palestinian casualties since the beginning of the war has exceeded 21,900.
Shockingly, two-thirds of these casualties are women and children. It is important to note that the Health Ministry does not differentiate between civilians and combatants among the deceased.
The decision to withdraw a portion of the troops from Gaza suggests a potential shift in the Israeli army’s approach to the conflict.
By focusing on targeting the remaining Hamas strongholds, Israeli leaders aim to gradually deescalate the intensity of the campaign while maintaining pressure on the militant group.
The situation in Gaza remains highly volatile, and the withdrawal of troops is expected to have immediate and long-term implications for the region.