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Friday, February 16, 2024

Bombardment continues as Israel tries to shift focus from Gaza

The objective is to allow reservists to return to civilian life, provide support to Israel's war-affected economy, and prepare units for potential conflicts, particularly with Lebanon's Hezbollah in the north.

Bombardment continues as Israel tries to shift focus from Gaza

In a recent development, residents reported that Israel withdrew tanks from specific districts in Gaza City on Monday. This move coincided with Israel’s announcement of a shift in tactics and a reduction in troop numbers, even though fighting persisted in other parts of the Palestinian enclave, accompanied by intense bombardment.

Despite Israel’s assertion that the war in Gaza would continue for several more months, there are signs of a change in the offensive strategy. An official stated on Monday that the military would decrease forces in Gaza this month, transitioning to a more localized “mopping up” phase lasting several months. The objective is to allow reservists to return to civilian life, provide support to Israel’s war-affected economy, and prepare units for potential conflicts, particularly with Lebanon’s Hezbollah in the north.

Multiple fronts 

Ongoing artillery exchanges between Hezbollah and Israel along the border have raised concerns about the possibility of a broader regional war. Simultaneously, Tehran-backed fighters in Yemen targeted Red Sea shipping, prompting a U.S. military response. Additionally, there were reports of an Iranian warship entering the area.

The Gaza conflict, initiated by a surprise Hamas attack in October, has resulted in significant casualties and displacement. International pressure, including calls from Israel’s Western allies such as the U.S., has urged a de-escalation of the offensive.

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Israel initially mobilized a large number of reservists, but the recent withdrawal includes some of these forces. There are plans for the potential deployment of these troops to the northern border with Lebanon. Israel has warned of a possible full-scale war with Hezbollah if tensions on the Lebanese front persist. Both Hamas and Hezbollah receive backing from Iran, whose allies in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen have also targeted Israel.