Israel to withdraw some troops from Gaza but expects fighting will continue through 2024

Israel plans to withdraw some of its troops from the Gaza Strip over time, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said it expects fighting to continue for some time. Netanyahu told reporters in Jerusalem on Sunday that the objective is to reach a durable, long-term ceasefire with Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

Netanyahu said the Palestinian militant group had been “seriously hit” by its recent 11-day confrontation with Israel. He suggested fighting would likely continue through 2024, when the next Israeli elections are due.

“Our operations to date have significantly weakened Hamas and Islamic Jihad,” Netanyahu said. “Our goals are clear: To weaken the terrorist organizations, to bring about a lasting calm, and if possible to bring about a change of policy. We will continue to act against those who seek to harm us.”

The Israeli military said it has withdrawn some forces from the Gaza border area as part of the ceasefire agreed upon by both sides, but it is unclear how many troops have left or when further withdrawals might take place.