While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 2

Israel troop pullback signals ‘gradual shift’ to lower intensity operations: US official

Israel’s decision to withdraw some troops from Gaza appears to signal the start of a shift to lower-intensity operations in the north of the Palestinian enclave, although there was still fighting going on there, a US official said on Jan 1.

Israel pulled tanks out of some Gaza City districts on Jan 1, residents said, as it announced plans to shift tactics and cut back on troop numbers. Still, fighting raged elsewhere in the Palestinian enclave along with intense bombardment.

“This appears to be the start of the gradual shift to lower-intensity operations in the north that we have been encouraging,” the official said, noting the change reflected the success of the Israeli military in dismantling Hamas’ military capabilities there.

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