Barak Approves Call-Up of 30,000 Soldiers

U.S. calls on Egypt to use its sway with the Hamas to end the violence, Egypt's prime minister to visit Gaza Friday.

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Gil Ronen,

Barak and Gantz
Barak and Gantz
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday approved the call-up of 30,000 reserve soldiers, who can be called into action by the military at any point, the army's official spokesman said.

"We are in the process of expanding the campaign," Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai told Channel 2 television as Israel pressed a massive air campaign against Gaza terrorists.

"The Defense Minister approved a few minutes ago, based on the army's request, the recruitment of another 30,000 soldiers. We will determine how many of them will be called in," he said. "All options are on the table."

The United States is calling on Egypt to use its sway with the Palestinians to try to end the violence from Gaza, a top U.S. official said Thursday, adding Hamas must stop its rocket attacks on Israel.

"We ask Egypt to use its influence in the region to help de-escalate the situation," deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, adding that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had spoken with her Egyptian counterpart.

Egypt's prime minister is to visit Gaza Friday.