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US Believes Israel Is Withdrawing Military Troops From Gaza As Rest & Refit

Israel’s military is withdrawing its troops from the southern part of Gaza, reducing the number of military brigades fighting to just one. While many speculated that it could mean “an evolution to the war,” a US national security spokesperson believes it’s just a “rest and refit” opportunity for the soldiers and not indicative of a new operation.

In an interview with ABC, White House National Security spokesperson John Kirby said, “As we understand it and through their public announcements, it is really just about rest and refit for these troops and not necessarily that we can tell indicative of some coming new operation for these troops.”

He also dismissed any possibility that these troops were withdrawn to be sent to another operation, including Rafah. The White House has previously cleared its stance regarding a ground operation in Rafah. President Biden sternly refused to support a ground invasion without any plan to protect its civilians first. John Kirby further said that Israel's administration leaders are to visit the USA anytime next week to discuss possible alternatives to an Israeli offensive in Gaza.

On Sunday, Joh Kirby attended “Face The Nation,” where he explained the new strategy of the Israeli military. “The indications that we've been getting from them this morning are that this is really largely rest and refit for troops that have been on the ground consecutively now for four months, and they need a chance to come out now. I can't speak to what they'll do with those troops after a rest and refit," Kirby said when asked about the reduction in troops and what it means.

Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also commented on this matter, saying the troops are withdrawn to better prepare them for future operations. Israel is still very interested in an operation in Rafah, where almost 1.5 million Gaza civilians are sheltering right now.

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