Israel pulls troops out of southern Gaza: military official

AFP , Ahram Online , Sunday 7 Apr 2024

Israel on Sunday pulled all its troops out of southern Gaza, including from the city of Khan Younis, the military and an army official said, after months of fierce fighting left the area devastated.

Palestinians who had taken refuge in Rafah in leave the city to return to Khan Yunis after Israel pulled its ground forces out of the southern Gaza Strip, on April 7, 2024. AFP


"Today, Sunday April 7th, the IDF's 98th commando division has concluded its mission in Khan Younis. The division left the Gaza Strip in order to recuperate and prepare for future operations," the army said in a statement to AFP.

Asked by AFP whether this meant all troops have left south Gaza, he said: "Yes."

Acoording to Israeli media, the army withdrew overnight all ground troops from the southern Gaza Strip leaving only one brigade, which is Nahal, in the Strip.

The Nahal Brigade is tasked with securing the so-called Netzarim Corridor, which divides the strip into northern and southern zones.

The corridor enables the Israeli army to carry out raids in northern and central Gaza and prevents Palestinians from returning to the northern part of the Strip.

The Israeli occupation army believes that raids based on new intelligence, like operations in northern Gaza, are a more effective way, according to Times of Israel.

The attack on Khan Younis did what it set out to do, according to the Israel's militay claiming that it dismantled local Hamas brigade, killing thousands of resistance fighters, and around 30 kilometers of tunnels destroyed. These claims could not be verified.

Troops will ultimately return for raids based on new intelligence, similar to how operations are taking place in northern Gaza, according to the army.

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