Golani Units Pulling out from Gaza – What It Means

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu meets with soldiers from the Golani Brigade. (Photo: Prime Minister of Israel X Page)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The Israeli army declared on Thursday that it is pulling the Golani Brigade out from the Gaza Strip. What does it mean?

What does it mean that Israel is pulling out Golani units from Gaza?

Just one day after an announcement by the Israeli army alleging that it has achieved ‘operational control’ in the Shejaiya neighborhood in Gaza, the army declared on Thursday that it is pulling the Golani Brigade out from the Gaza Strip. 

Are these two events linked?

Yes. Israel made the announcement that it had achieved some kind of control over Shejaiya to reduce the shock of the news that its most elite fighting force had essentially been defeated, forcing it to an early retreat. 

Who has been pulled out exactly? 

Al-Jazeera and other news networks cited the Israeli army as saying that the Golani Brigade is pulling out, while others say that specific units within Golani and other elite military units are being pulled out. 

Does this matter? 

No. Either way, the Israeli military retreat from Gaza reflects the heavy losses suffered by Israel’s top fighters at the hands of stiff and growing Palestinian Resistance. 

What is the Golani Brigade?

Military expert Maj. Gen. Fayez Duwairi told Al-Jazeera that the Golani Brigade is one of Israel’s military most special forces, consisting of eight battalions – four tank battalions, two infantry battalions, one paratrooper battalion, one artillery battalion, in addition to supply and maintenance operations. 

The Brigade was formed in February 1948 during the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine. It has participated in all of Israel’s major wars against Arab countries. 

In 2014, the Golani suffered heavy losses in Shejaiya neighborhood. The current battle for Shejaiya was meant as sending a strong message that the Golani has managed to overcome the Shejaiya hurdle. 

The outcome, however, was the exact opposite, as the Golani has lost dozens of its top fighters and officers forcing the retreat announced on Thursday. 

But what is the condition of Palestinian Resistance?

A few hours before the Israeli military announcement, military spokesman for Al-Qassam Brigades, Abu Obeida, announced in a statement that Palestinian Resistance has managed to inflict heavy losses on the Israeli army in Gaza in recent days. 

He also said that the Palestinian Resistance has destroyed fully or partially 720 Israeli military vehicles, and that the morale of the Resistance is higher than before. 

But how is the morale of the Israeli army?

According to Gen. Duwairi, the decision to pull the Golani Brigade, or Golani units, out of Gaza is likely to further deteriorate the morale of the Israeli army, which is yet to achieve any of the declared goals by Benjamin Netanyahu’s war council.

Israeli Channel 13, and other Israeli news outlets, have shown the celebrations of Israeli army soldiers who had just pulled out from Gaza, rejoicing that they have escaped the battle, while thousands of their colleagues are still fighting an unwinnable war.

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