Israel prepares for next phase of Gaza operation: refugees will be invited to return

Olha LipychWorld
Israel talks about the next phase of the operation in the Gaza Strip

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that the country will gradually move to the next phase of the operation in the Gaza Strip. Within its framework, the local population will most likely be allowed to return to northern Gaza.

He said this on Monday, December 18, after talks with Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin in Tel Aviv, Reuters reports. At the same time, Gallant did not specify the start date of the new phase of the IDF ground operation.

According to the newspaper, the officials talked about lower-intensity fighting and ways to reduce harm to civilians in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli minister said that the local population would most likely be able to return to the northern part of the enclave first, where most people lived before the Israeli invasion in response to the Hamas attack.

Austin called the new phase of Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip "more surgical" operations.

"Soon we will be able to distinguish between different areas of the Gaza Strip. In each area where we achieve our mission, we will be able to gradually move to the next stage and start working on the return of the local population. This can be achieved perhaps sooner in the north than in the south," said the Israeli Defense Minister.

As reported by OBOZ.UA, Israel and Hamas, with the mediation of Qatar, are trying to agree on another stage of the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip for the exchange of hostages. The parties are open to a new agreement, but there are disagreements about how it can be implemented.

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