Israel calls 8,000 additional reservists -now 56,000 strong for Gaza ground assault

The IDF is bringing the total number to 56,000, and once the additional forces are called up, an assault appears imminent.

 

The cabinet on Wednesday authorized the call-up of 8,000 additional reservists to assist in the military operations along the Gaza frontier.

Benny Gantz

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, June 24, 2014. – Photo: IDF SPOKESMAN’S OFFICE

The IDF has already called up 48,000 reserves, bringing the total number to 56,000, once the additional forces are called up.

Last week, the IDF began actively calling up the 40,000 reserves approved to it by the cabinet for Operation Protective Edge.

IDF chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz requested the call-up of 40,000 reserves in order to replace conscripted forces in the West Bank, and enable their deployment to the Gaza border.

The cabinet approved the request and the IDF has already begun issuing reserve notices.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave no indication of whether the campaign was nearing its end or whether Israel is on the verge of a ground operation.

 

Netanyahu on Wednesday repeated his position that “Israel will continue to do what it needs to do to defend itself until peace and quiet are restored.”

The premier spoke at a joint news conference with Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini at the Knesset on Wednesday.

Netanyahu called on the international community to condemn Hamas for committing the “double war crime” of firing on Israeli civilians and using Palestinian noncombatants as human shields. He also said that the “most important step for the international community to insist on” is “the demilitarization of Gaza.”

The premier noted that while Israel accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, Hamas rejected it.

Turning to the Italian foreign minister, Netanyahu said, “Imagine in Rome, Florence, and Milan were rocketed. You wouldn’t accept that. You’d fight back. Those firing the rockets aren’t seeking a political solution.”

Mogherini commended Netanyahu for accepting the ceasefire while calling on both sides to refrain from civilian casualties. She also expressed concern for the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

 

View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Israel-calls-up-additional-8000-reservists-for-Gaza-operation-363053

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