update deskIsrael at War

Gazans flock to beach after IDF withdrawal

Temperatures in the coastal enclave topped 35 degrees Celsius (95 F) on Wednesday.

Palestinians shop at a market in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, April 9, 2024. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
Palestinians shop at a market in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, April 9, 2024. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

Gaza residents flocked to beaches in the central part of the coastal enclave on Wednesday as temperatures topped 35 degrees Celsius (95 F), according to footage shared on social media.

The images out of Deir al Balah, where the Israeli Air Force operated against terror targets only two weeks ago, came a week after the Israel Defense Forces withdrew almost all ground troops from the Strip.

Almost 200 days after Hamas’s Oct. 7 attacks, which killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and saw an estimated 253 others abducted to Gaza, 133 hostages remain in captivity.

Slightly more than three in four Palestinians have a positive view of Hamas in the wake of the massacre, according to a November survey.

Last week, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told soldiers that the decision to withdraw troops was made in preparation for the looming offensive in Rafah, where Hamas’s final battalions are concentrated and where the senior leadership and remaining hostages are believed to be.

“The forces came out [of the Gaza Strip] and are preparing for their future missions, we saw examples of such missions in action at Shifa, and also for their future mission in the Rafah area,” Gallant stated.

Asked by JNS about the footage on Wednesday, the IDF and the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office did not offer comment.

On Tuesday, Palestinian terrorists fired two rockets from northern Gaza at southern Israel, setting off sirens in Kibbutz Nir Am. Both rockets struck open areas in Israeli territory, causing no injuries or damage.

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