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Israel OKs call-up of additional 40,000 combat reservists

Black smoke rising following an Israeli air strike on the Gaza International Airport in Rafah, July 7, 2014. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)

Black smoke rising following an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza International Airport in Rafah, July 7, 2014. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Cabinet approved the call-up of as many as 40,000 additional combat reservists.

The approval came Tuesday afternoon, hours after army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz requested the added troops with the start of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in an effort to stop a rocket barrage on southern Israel. Israel’s military is planning a possible ground invasion of Gaza, according to reports.

Also Tuesday, the Tel Aviv municipality said it would prepare and clean public bomb shelters as Hamas threatened on its official websites that it would fire rockets at the city. In addition, Israel Railways has halted service between Sderot and Ashkelon in both directions, where a significant number of rockets have been aimed, following orders from the Home Front Command.

The Palestinian Health Ministry on Tuesday afternoon reported that at least seven Palestinians were killed and 25 injured in an Israeli airstrike Tuesday on the home of a Hamas operative.

Hamas and other terror organizations in Gaza have fired more than 130 rockets into civilian areas of southern Israeli since Monday night. In response, the Israeli military has targeted about 150 of what it calls “terror sites” in Gaza.

 

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