TEL AVIV (Agencies): The Israeli military command has ordered the withdrawal of several battalions from the Gaza Strip to provide them with a brief “resting” period following significant losses in December.
The Golani Brigade’s 13th Battalion, part of the Israeli forces, has pulled out from the Gaza Strip after sustaining substantial casualties, notably during a well-coordinated ambush in the al-Shujaiya neighborhood.
On December 12, Resistance fighters ambushed Israeli forces in al-Shujaiya, resulting in the death of seven Golani troops, including two high-ranking officers. Among the casualties were Lieutenant Colonel Tomer Grinberg, the commander of the 13th Battalion, and Colonel Izhak Ben Basat, head of the Golani Brigade chief’s forward command team. Major Roei Meldasi, a company commander, was also lost in the ambush.
In response to the ambush, where Golani’s 51st and 13th Battalions suffered heavy losses, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) decided to withdraw the battered 13th Battalion from the Gaza Strip for a period of “regrouping and rest.”
The Golani Brigade has been a key component in the Israeli forces’ offensives, and similar expectations were placed on Golani fighters in Gaza, particularly in al-Shujaiya—a significant obstacle for the Brigade during the 2014 Gaza war.
However, the Brigade fell short of meeting the command’s expectations, as the Palestinian Resistance disrupted its chain of command by eliminating key figures.
According to Israeli Channel 12, this marks the first time the 13th Battalion’s troops will take a break to refresh in the Gaza Envelope since the occupation’s invasion. The soldiers are scheduled for a 48-hour break before redeployment in Gaza.
Israeli paratroopers are also set to withdraw from the Gaza Strip for the same timeframe. Notably, the Israeli military command allowed the paratroopers a short break following criticism from the families of occupation soldiers regarding extended deployment. Channel 12 reported on letters from Israeli forces within the Gaza Strip, discussing the challenging conditions they face, including a “lack of sleep.”