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Israel says it will withdraw troops from Gaza strip

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Israel's army said several thousand troops would be taken out of Gaza in the coming weeks, though it has not said publicly whether the withdrawal reflects a new phase of the war. But the move is in line with the plans that Israeli leaders have outlined for a low-intensity campaign, expected to last for much of the year, that focuses on remaining Hamas strongholds.

Still, fierce fighting was ongoing Tuesday in central and southern Gaza. Most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have fled to the southern portion of the cramped enclave, with more than 85% of the population driven from their homes.

About 1,200 people were killed after Hamas raided southern Israel on Oct. 7, with around 240 people taken hostage.

More than 21,900 Palestinians, two-thirds of them women and children, have been killed since the start of the war, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza, which doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants among the dead.

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