July 31, 2014 – The Israeli military has called up additional 16,000 reserve soldiers to boost its operation at it intensifies attacks on Gaza to stop Hamas from launching rockets into Israel.
The deployment brings the total number of soldiers called up by Israel in the onslaught on Palestine to 86,000 an official of Israeli military has said.
The boost in Israel’s forces in Gaza came a day after the United States announced that it has allowed Israel to tap into a local US stockpile of grenades and mortars to boost operation in Gaza.
Pentagon’s Press Secretary, Rear Admiral John Kirby made the observation while briefing the media.
“The munitions were located inside Israel as part of a programme managed by the US military called War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel (WRSA-I), which stores munitions locally for US use that Israel can also access in emergency situations”, he said.
Israel, however, did not cite an emergency when it made its latest request about 10 days ago, a defence official told Aljazeera on Wednesday.
All these are taking place even as the US and the United Nations have jointly called for ceasefire to end the carnage in Gaza.
So far the Palestinians have suffered 1, 330 casualties in the 23 days of fighting, while 53 soldiers including about two civilians have been killed on the side of Israel with death toll rising each day. At least over 200,000 Palestinians are currently taking shelter in a camp operated by United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza.