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Daily Israel Report

10,000 Reserve Soldiers Authorized for Emergency Draft

Ministers give IDF permission to refresh troops, apparently to help homefront instead of for Gaza ground entry.
By Hezki Ezra, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 8/21/2014, 5:09 PM

IDF soldier returning from Gaza
IDF soldier returning from Gaza
Flash 90

Knesset ministers on Thursday authorized the enlistment of an additional 10,000 reserve duty soldiers to be called up by telephone for tzav shmoneh (emergency draft).

The enlistment comes on the request of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, and after a Security Cabinet meeting on Wednesday at 2 p.m.

As Operation Protective Edge enters its 45th day on Thursday, the ministers apparently have also authorized soldiers drafted in recent weeks to replace those called up at the start of the operation.

Arutz Sheva has learned that many of those soldiers drafted early in the operation have been released from their emergency draft duty, in what seems to be part of this rotation process.

It should be noted that of the 10,000 soldiers authorized by the Knesset to be called up, it remains unclear how many of that pool will actually be drafted by the IDF

As for what the new influx of soldiers might mean in terms of the future of the operation, indications appear to be that the draft does not herald a renewed ground entry to Gaza.

Rather, the majority of the draft orders seem to be connected more to the systems defending and repairing the homefront, in response to the damage inflicted by Hamas's persistent rocket war on Israeli civilian centers.

That rocket barrage continue on Thursday, after a pre-dawn airstrike took out three senior Hamas "military branch" Al-Qassam Brigades commanders. Likewise a strike Tuesday night targeted Al-Qassam Brigades head Mohammed Deif; the fate of the arch-terrorist remains unclear.

There has been a rising call for a ground entry from within the Knesset, even as some argue that such a move must be done in context of a wider plan, such as the re-conquering of Gaza. 

The call for decisive action was heard last Thursday in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, where a 10,000-strong rally called on the government to finish the job in Gaza.