TEL AVIV, August 21 (RIA Novosti) – The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have received the government’s permission to call up 10,000 reservists for military operation in the Gaza Strip, a military source said Thursday.
“The army received the political leadership’s permission to call up 10,000 reservists in addition to the 20,000-25,000 who were mobilized earlier and remain in service,” the source said, adding that the rest of some 80,000 soldiers called up previoulsy returned home after Israel finished its Gaza operation to demolish Hamas tunnels.
Earlier in the day, Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said that the IDF was planning to continue striking Hamas leaders and that the recent IDF attack was a great operational and intelligence achievement.
Thursday morning Hamas announced that three of its senior commanders - Mohammed Abu Shammala, Raed Attar and Mohammed Barhoum - were killed in the IDF bombing of a house in the town of Rafah in southern Gaza.
A five-day truce in Gaza between the Palestinian Hamas movement and Israel collapsed on August 19, some eight hours before the official deadline. Israel blamed Hamas militants for disputing the ceasefire and ordered the army to resume airstrikes against the Gaza Strip.
On July 8, Israel launched an offensive against the Hamas movement in response to the military group’s rocket attacks. On July 17, Israel switched to a ground offensive to destroy the network of Hamas tunnels along Gaza’s Israeli border. Since the start of the conflict, more than 2,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, 66 Israelis and a Thai national have been killed.