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Israel calls up 16,000 reservists to boost Gaza operations
Published Thursday 31/07/2014 (updated) 01/08/2014 12:41
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An Israeli soldier walks past a Merkava tank along the border between
Israel and the Gaza Strip, on July 30, 2014 (AFP Gil Cohen Magen)
GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Israel mobilized 16,000 additional reservists on Thursday to bolster its forces waging military operations in the Gaza Strip that left more than 100 Palestinians dead in a day.

The call-up came after Washington announced it had agreed to restock Israel's dwindling supplies of ammunition despite its sharp condemnation of an attack on a United Nations school in Gaza blamed on Israel's army.

"The army has issued 16,000 additional mobilization orders to allow troops on the ground to rest, which takes the total number of reservists to 86,000," an army spokeswoman said.

Israel's security cabinet, which met for five hours Wednesday, unanimously decided to pursue attacks against Hamas "terrorist targets" and other operations to destroy a network of tunnels used by the Islamist movement between Gaza and Israel, public radio said.

Public radio quoted Major General Sami Turgeman, the senior officer for the Gaza region, as saying that the destruction of militants' remaining tunnels into Israel could be complete "in a few days".

More than 100 Palestinians died in the Gaza Strip Wednesday, among them the victims of Israeli fire on a market and the UN school where Palestinians fleeing the fighting had sought refuge.

Despite the loss of life, there appeared to be little Israeli appetite for a truce, with a senior official telling Haaretz newspaper that Israel was not even close to a ceasefire.

"When a ceasefire proposal that answers Israel's important needs is laid on the table, it will be considered," he said, warning that the military operation would expand.

"The (military) will expand attacks against Hamas and the rest of the terror organizations."

Nevertheless, a two-member Israeli delegation travelled to Cairo late Wednesday to discuss a possible ceasefire with Egyptian officials, an official at the airport told AFP, saying they were expected to leave after several hours.

Cairo, a key mediator in previous truce negotiations between Israel and Hamas, was also expected to host a Palestinian delegation later this week.
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1 ) JoeFattal / USA
31/07/2014 15:05
That many against few thousands Hamas fighters. With all the technology that Israel have they couldn't make a dent in Hamas fighting skills but surely enough they made a dent to the civilian population. That war would have been over with less civilian casualties if Israel would have enter Gaza from the beginning and went after Hamas instead to flatten half of the city and kill so many civilians because they are not capable to go after them.

2 ) shirley / australia
31/07/2014 15:29
time for paqls to call up fighters to protect gaza palestine is state 194 of un and has every right to defend itself and isreal really has no right to call up people from other countries to fight for it including us who dont even seem to have dual citazenship and bragging killing 13 pal children the death toll much higher isreali soldiers and injured than they are saying clearly maan should give better account might deter those wishing to join the fight

3 ) Tibi / Tubas
31/07/2014 15:33
The UN should setup a huge new refugee camp adjacent to Egytian Raphia, and Egypt should open the border so that Gaza civilians could reach it !!

4 ) JoeFattal / USA
31/07/2014 17:13
@3) Tibi / Tubas Wrong idea for Egypt to open their border right now. If Palestinians decide to flee Gaza even temporarily they might not be able to go back if Israel decide to occupy Gaza. That's what Israel depended on, that Egypt open their border for Palestinians in Gaza. It wouldn't helped decreasing the civilian casualties, Israel will inflict more civilian casualties with Egypt border open or not.

5 ) Levi / USA
31/07/2014 18:01
@1) Israel would not have to enter Gaza at all and lose its soldiers in the process inside booby-trapped tunnels. It could have carpet bombed Gaza to dust indiscriminately. The fact that they do use troops is one more proof that Israel is discriminate in its operation in targetting the tunnels and Hamas terrorists. They didn't have to make a "dent". They could have chosen to completely destroy Gaza. They have destroyed much of it, but most of it still stands for the sake of the civilians.

6 ) Arnold / Canada
31/07/2014 18:34
JoeFattal#1. So far Hamas fighting skills have been firing from within Gazan populaces. The Israelis have the fire power from above and will use it to a point. Ground forces are an option. Hamas surely would love the IDF sucked deep into Gaza and then be able to attack from the rear via those tunnels. I think the idiots who kidnapped the 3 Israeli kids blew it for Hamas' plans. The game plan changed. The tunnels are now the focus.
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