IDF pulls another brigade out of Gaza, leaving smallest force since beginning of ground offensive

Three and a half brigades left in Khan Younis, compared to 7 at the beginning of January, as 646th Brigade, last reserve brigade stationed there, rotated out

Nearly four months since the start of the ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, the IDF has found itself with the smallest number of forces since the beginning of the incursion.
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In the eastern Khan Younis area, the Givati Brigade completed its deployment. This brigade initially seized this area at the start of the ground operation in the southern part of the Strip about two and a half months ago and recently replaced the last reserve brigade stationed in the area - the 646th Brigade.
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פעילות כוחות צה"ל ברצועת עזה
פעילות כוחות צה"ל ברצועת עזה
IDF forces in the Gaza Strip
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Previously, Givati was responsible for the evacuation of the refugee camp in western Khan Younis and the extraction of about 100,000 Palestinians from it to the displaced persons' camps in al-Mawasi.
Meanwhile, only two brigades remain in western Khan Younis, both consisting of regular troops - the 35th (Paratroopers) Brigade and the 7th Armored Brigade. Additionally, for the past two weeks, special forces units, namely the elite Egoz and Maglan units of the 89th (Commando) Brigade have been operating at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. In practice, a force of 3 and a half brigades is now in Khan Younis, compared to seven at the beginning of January.
The extension of the operation in Khan Younis is likely primarily intended to maintain pressure on Hamas in negotiations for the release of hostages in exchange for Hamas terrorists, which will likely include an extended cease-fire.
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