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Israel withdraws ground troops from southern Gaza, rockets fired at Israel hours later

The future of Israel's anticipated invasion of the city of Rafah is unclear.

Published: April 7, 2024 9:40am

The Israel Defense Forces withdrew all ground troops from the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday, and hours later, rockets were fired from the area into Israel, officials said. 

One brigade remains in the Gaza Strip to secure a corridor that crosses through Gaza to the coast, per The Times of Israel

The withdrawal comes after four months of fighting in the Khan Younis area of southern Gaza, and the IDF says new intelligence suggests that raids are more effective in fighting Hamas.

The future of Israel's anticipated invasion of the city of Rafah is unclear, although the United States has warned multiple times against conducting such an operation.

Meanwhile, forces in the Khan Younis area fired five rockets at Israel hours after the withdrawal. Israel's Iron Dome defense system intercepted some of the rockets, which resulted in no injuries from the attack. 

Most Israeli forces also left the Gaza Strip amid increased pressure for a ceasefire deal that would release hostages after the IDF said Saturday that it recovered the body of hostage Elad Katzir from Gaza. Meanwhile, Israel is bracing for a potential attack from Iran after the Islamic Republic blamed Israel for assassinating a top Iranian commander in Syria.

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