Israeli Military Permits Return of Residents to Border Communities Near Gaza Strip
After three months of conflict, some inhabitants of border settlements close to the Gaza Strip may soon be able to return home, according to reports from Israel’s Home Front Command.
After October 7, when Hamas militants infiltrated Israel and slaughtered 1,200 people while kidnapping 240 others and taking them to Gaza, Israelis living within 4 miles of Gaza were evacuated. The most severely affected areas were located two to four miles from Gaza.
According to the Times of Israel, some have subsequently returned, but many have remained away as the violence carries on, staying at hotels or kibbutz guesthouses.
The Times said on Monday that people who live at least 2.5 kilometers from Northern Gaza, where the IDF claims it has destroyed Hamas, will begin going back to their homes. However, no timetable was provided. The report cited the Home Front Command.
It comes after last week’s reopening of the Max and Ruth Schwartz Hesder Yeshiva in Sderot, a rabbinical seminary.
The Israeli military announced that it was removing thousands of troops from the Gaza Strip, which may pave the way for a new, longer-term phase of less intense combat with Hamas. This news was reported by The Times.
The army declared that it would withdraw five brigades, or several thousand soldiers, from Gaza in the upcoming weeks. While many elderly reservists will return home, some may stay on post to continue their training or to rest. Because of the war, reservists are unable to work, manage their enterprises, or return to their academic pursuits, which hurts the economy.