Did Bibi Just End The War?

by David Mark

In a sudden move, Israel pulled out most of its troops today from Southern Gaza seeming to indicate that despite Bibi Netanyahu’s rhetoric, Israel essentially ended its active war against Hamas. All of this plus opening more “humanitarian” aid corridors as per Joe Biden’s request appears to signal that America has now forced Israel to stand down.

The 98th Brigade led by General Dan Goldfus has been on a tear through Khan Yunis, breaking down all of Hamas’ battalions embedded there. Most believed they would continue onto Rafah, preparing the groundwork for a coming final invasion of the IDF into the last Hamas stronghold. However, the Biden administration fearing a total and comprehensive Israeli victory over Hamas and the Arabs of Gaza has put a stop to it by threatening to cut off all arms supplies to Israel.

So has the Biden team finally halted Israel’s war?

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant had the following to say: “The forces came out [of Gaza] and are preparing for their future missions, we saw examples of such missions in action at Shifa [Hospital], and also for their future mission in the Rafah area. We will reach a situation where Hamas does not control the Gaza Strip and where it does not function as a military framework that poses a risk to the citizens of the State of Israel.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu also made it clear that the move of the troops from Khan Yunis is not a ceasefire. “I made it clear to the international community that there will be no ceasefire without the return of hostages. It simply will not happen,” Netanyahu said at today’s cabinet meeting.

So what is really going on? Netanyahu and Gallant clearly have no intention of ending the war in Gaza. Doing so would end their political careers even faster. However, there has been no troop build up outside of southern Gaza that would indicate an invasion of Rafah is coming anytime soon. The withdrawal of the 98th and other IDF forces from Khan Yunis appears to be connected to Lebanon. Israel needs the Biden administration to lower it pressure on the Jewish State, while it prepares for a far more intense conflict with Hezbollah, the IRGC, Syria, and the thousands of Shiite Militia troops pouring into Jordan.

Israel may have decided to leave Rafah to be taken over after Hezbollah or at the very least take it over during the attack on Hezbollah – using the chaos of a far more intense conflict as cover. Either way, one thing is clear. Whatever comes next, it is coming fast.

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