Gaza City: Israel is set to partially withdraw its forces from Gaza, marking a significant shift in its strategy against Hamas. This move, announced on Monday, comes as the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) plan to focus on more targeted operations against Hamas, reducing reliance on artillery and air strikes. The decision also allows some reservists, who were called up for active duty, to return to civilian life, a step seen as vital for stimulating the economy.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has emphasized that the war is far from over, predicting a duration of at least six months. The focus will be on intense “mopping-up” missions against terrorists, particularly in areas like Shajaia, a district in Gaza known for its dense network of tunnels used by Hamas militants.
The United States, under President Biden’s administration, has been actively involved in discussions with Israel, urging a reduction in offensive operations in Gaza and greater efforts to minimize civilian casualties. This diplomatic engagement reflects the complex nature of the conflict and the international community’s concern for stability in the region.
Despite the partial withdrawal, Israeli forces maintain significant control over Gaza. The primary challenge remains the elusive Hamas leadership, with figures like Yahya Sinwar and his brother, who leads the southern Hamas forces, continuing to evade capture.
The broader regional implications of the conflict are also evident. The US military has been working to prevent the conflict from escalating into a larger regional war. This is particularly crucial given the recent attacks on US and Israeli forces by Iran-backed terrorist groups in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen since October.