Monday Briefing

Israel said its last soldiers in the Gazan city of Khan Younis had left, “to recuperate and prepare for future operations.”Credit…Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images

Israel said it pulled troops from southern Gaza

The Israeli military said that it had withdrawn a division of ground troops from the southern Gaza Strip.

The drawdown, from the southern city of Khan Younis, means that no Israeli troops are currently maneuvering in southern Gaza, the Israeli news media reported. It was unclear what the withdrawal might signal for Israel’s oft-stated plan to invade the southernmost city of Rafah.

Israel has significantly reduced the number of troops on the ground in Gaza over the past several months. But officials made clear that the army would stay in other parts of Gaza to preserve its “freedom of action and its ability to conduct precise intelligence-based operations.” And Israel’s defense minister said the military was preparing for “follow-up missions” that included Rafah.

News of the withdrawal came as international mediators gathered in Cairo in hopes of brokering a temporary cease-fire, six months into a war that is now the longest involving Israel since the 1980s.

In the U.S., protests over the Biden administration’s handling of the war are disrupting the activities of Democratic officials from the White House down.

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