Israel shifts war strategy | The Hill

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has activated a new phase of the war against Palestinian militant group Hamas.


Five brigades — consisting of several thousand troops — are withdrawing from the Gaza Strip in the coming weeks.


Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Israel’s prime minister’s office, said the reductions are vital to rotate troops for an expected long war.


“We have to be ready for the long haul,” Regev said in a Sky News interview. “We have to take troops out now to rest them.”


The new phase comes after U.S. officials traveled to Israel last month and pressured officials to scale down the fighting after more than 20,000 people died in Gaza, based on local health figures.


Still, Israeli officials say the war will last throughout 2024 in the lower-intensity phase.


That was clear on Tuesday, when Israel allegedly killed a top Hamas official in Lebanon who was the deputy chairman of the Palestinian group’s politburo.


Hamas has vowed revenge for the death of Saleh al-Arouri, the highest ranking official in the militant group to die since the war broke out Oct. 7.


Palestinian militants also said on an Iranian military news Telegram channel that Israel has suffered “significant losses” in Gaza and will fail in 2024.


IDF chief spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Tuesday that Israel was prepared to completely defeat Hamas.


“The most important thing to say tonight is that we are focused and remain focused on fighting Hamas,” Hagari said.


Read the full coverage of the Israel-Hamas war at

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