An additional 16,000 reserve soldiers are being called up for duty, joining some 70,000 reservist who had already been called for service, the IDF announced Thursday. With the call-up, a total of some 86,000 reservists will be on active duty.
The call-up indicates that the IDF may expand its operation, expanding its mission beyond the destruction of terror tunnels constructed by Hamas. IDF spokesmen over the past day have said that the army needs between two and three days to destroy all the Hamas tunnels that could be used to attack Israel.
Meanwhile, the air force continued attacking terror targets in Gaza, hitting 110 buildings and structures used by terrorists to fire rockets at Israel and to launch tunnel attacks. So far, the IDF has hit 4,200 such targets in Gaza. In a statement, the army said that it had destroyed several homes of Hamas commanders and buildings used to coordinate attacks on Israel. Four terror tunnels were destroyed as well, the army said,
IDF troops overnight Wednesday eliminated a Hamas terrorist who tried to fire an anti-tank missile at IDF soldiers in southern Gaza. On Wednesday, three soldiers were killed when an explosive went off in a booby-trapped house "while soldiers were uncovering an offensive tunnel shaft in a residence in the southern Gaza Strip. The house and the tunnel were booby trapped with two explosive devices that were detonated against the soldiers," the IDF said in a statement.”
Meanwhile, Hamas continued firing rockets at Israeli cities and towns. Early Thursday, residents of Ashdod, Kiryat Malachi, and other towns in the south-central plain between Ashdod and Ashkelon were forced to run to shelters when Red Color siren warnings went off. No injuries were reported in those attacks.