NBC News: Israel Withdrawing 'Thousands' of Troops From Gaza

Chris Menahan
Jan. 01, 2024

Israel is pulling multiple units out of Gaza likely amounting to "thousands of troops" as Palestinian fighters are reporting huge victories on the battlefield.

From NBC News, "Israel withdrawing some units from Gaza":
TEL AVIV Israel says five of its military brigades, including many reservists, will be withdrawing from the Gaza Strip this week in an effort to pace itself for an expected long-term conflict and to mitigate damage to Israel's economy.

The Israel Defense Forces said the 828th Brigade, 261st Brigade and 460th Brigade, composed of active duty troops, will all return to their normal training missions. The 551st Brigade and 14th Brigade, comprising reservists, will be allowed to go home and resume their normal jobs, the IDF said.

Yet the military took pains to signal that the withdrawal of those brigades did not mean an end to active, intensive combat in Gaza or any reduction in Israel's mission there. Israel has been under intense global pressure to scale back the war but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a national address over the weekend that the war would continue for "many more months."

"The goals of the war require prolonged fighting and we are preparing accordingly," IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari told reporters.

Hagari said allowing reservists to come home would "allow considerable relief for the economy and allow them to gather strength for the next activities in the coming year, and the fighting will continue and we will still need them."

All told, the number likely amounts to thousands of troops leaving Gaza at least temporarily. Israel hasn't disclosed how many troops are fighting in the Gaza Strip.
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