Israel Begins Partial Troop Pullout From Gaza

No Timetable for Leaving Gaza, Israel Insists

Notwithstanding a handful of incidents on both sides, the dueling ceasefires declared by Israel and Hamas seem to be holding up. The Israeli military has even begun to withdraw some of its forces from the devastated Gaza Strip. The Hamas government’s ceasefire is predicated on Israeli forces leaving the strip in the next week, but so far no timetable has been set.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says the troops will withdraw “as soon as possible,” which likely doesn’t mean physically possible because all the troops could’ve easily left in the time since Olmert’s announcement if that was the case.

Rather, Olmert says the pullout will come when the situation is “stable.” This too provides little clue of the government’s intention, as arguably the situation between Israel and the Gaza Strip has not been stable in Israel’s 60-plus years of existence. Negotiations for a more permanent ceasefire in the strip will continue in Cairo.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.