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The withdrawal of some of Tel Aviv's troops from Gaza is the beginning of a gradual shift.



 

The withdrawal of some of Tel Aviv's troops

 from Gaza

 is the beginning of a gradual shift.


A US official announced on Monday that Israel's decision to withdraw some of 

its troops from the Gaza Strip appeared to be the beginning of


 a gradual shift to less intense operations in the northern Gaza Strip

despite continued fighting there.



He said: 

This seems to be the beginning of the gradual shift towards less intensive

operations in the north that we encouraged, reflecting the success of


the Israeli army in dismantling Hamas' military capabilities there. 

However

I wish to caution against continued fighting in the north

which does not reflect any change (to the situation) in the south. "


Residents said Israel pulled its tanks from some Gaza City

 neighborhoods on Monday as it announced plans to change 

its methods and reduce its troop strength, but fighting 

raged elsewhere in the Strip amid intense shelling.


Israeli army radio reported on Sunday that the Israeli army

 had decided to withdraw 5 combat brigades from the Gaza Strip.


After assessing the situation and the military operation

it was decided to

 withdraw 5 brigades of the Israeli army from the Gaza Strip."


Of the five brigades

two had been withdrawn from the reserve forces.


The Israeli army's death toll in Gaza battles and clashes in southern

 Lebanon rose to 6 in 24 hours after Tuesday evening's announcement

 that two officers and a soldier had been killed in the northern Gaza Strip.


The Israeli 

army said that the soldiers

 who were pronounced dead this evening were Major Shai Shamriz, a company commander in the 931st battalion, the Nahal Brigade 


(who fell in the battle of the northern Gaza Strip)

and Captain Shaul Gringlik, an officer in the 931st battalion

the Nahal Brigade (who fell in the northern Gaza Strip). 

Sgt. Mawar Lafi, soldier, 450th Battalion

"Bislakh" Brigade, (fell into battle in the Gaza Strip).


The announcement comes after 3 soldiers were killed Tuesday morning

including an officer and two soldiers, and 4 others were seriously 


wounded in battles in southern Gaza. The soldier belongs to 

the Ram Division 

(179) in the Strip and the formation of BRAC (188) in Lebanon.


Earlier on Tuesday night, the Israeli army declared 9 soldiers

including one soldier, in danger, after coming under fire during 

a wounded clouds that were also hit by a Lebanese-launched missile.


This brings the number of Israeli soldiers killed since the start of

 operation "Tuvan al-Aqsa" on 7 October to 495, including 161 since 

the start of the ground offensive on 27 October.