Israeli Troops Withdraw from Khan Younis as Focus Turns to Rafah Offensive

Jerusalem: Israel’s military has announced the withdrawal of its forces from the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, marking a significant milestone in its ground offensive against Hamas. This move brings the troop presence in the territory to one of the lowest levels since the conflict began six months ago.

However, defence officials revealed that the withdrawal is part of a strategic regrouping, with plans to shift focus towards Rafah, Hamas’ last stronghold. Despite global concerns, including from the US, regarding civilian safety in Rafah, Israel has maintained its intent for a ground offensive in the area.

While the withdrawal signifies a pivotal moment in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, military sources affirm that a substantial force remains in Gaza for targeted operations, including in Khan Younis, the hometown of Hamas leader Yehya Sinwar.

According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, the death toll from the conflict has exceeded 33,000, with an additional 75,600 people wounded. The ministry’s data does not distinguish between civilians and militants but highlights that women and children account for a significant portion of the casualties.

The conflict began on October 7 when Hamas-led militants launched an incursion into southern Israel, resulting in numerous casualties and hostage-taking.

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