Skip to main content

What does Israeli military drawdown mean for Gaza war?

The Israeli military is preparing for what could be seen as the third phase of the war in Gaza, with less troops on the ground and more precisely targeted operations.
SOUTHERN ISRAEL - JANUARY 02: An Israeli soldier directs a tank to be loaded on a truck on January 02, 2024 in Southern Israel, near the border to Gaza. Prior to annnouncing the withdrawal of some troops from Gaza, Israel extended its ground offensive into densely populated neighborhoods in the central part of the territory, forcing a fresh wave of displacement to south. Meanwhile, its aerial campaign continued apace across the territory as it seeks to destroy Hamas following the militant group's Oct. 7 att

Four combat brigades are set to stop fighting this week in the Gaza Strip. Israeli military chief Herzi Halevi reportedly decided to release two reserve brigades of the Israeli military, the infantry-vocational school brigade and an armored-corps training brigade. 

The two reserve brigades will be released and go home. The soldiers of the other two brigades will resume training, the news website Walla reported.

Each brigade includes between 3,000 to 7,000 soldiers, but the Israel Defense Forces did not specify how many soldiers are expected to leave the Gaza Strip within the framework of this new deployment.

Not going into detail, Israeli army spokesperson Daniel Hagari said Sunday, "There are reservists who will return to their families as early as this week," adding, "The IDF must plan ahead with the understanding that additional missions and continued fighting will be required throughout the year." Hagari defined the redeployment as an "adaptation to 2024" undertaken by the IDF as part of the "smart management of forces." 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.