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Israel calls up 16,000 more reservists

by Masako Iijima, Reuters

July 31, 2014 | 12:11 pm

<em>An Israeli soldier from the Givati Brigade touches a weapon with a national flag attached to it after returning to Israel from Gaza July 30, 2014. Image credit, Baz Ratner/Reuters</em><br />

An Israeli soldier from the Givati Brigade touches a weapon with a national flag attached to it after returning to Israel from Gaza July 30, 2014. Image credit, Baz Ratner/Reuters

Israel called up 16,000 extra reservists at short notice as its Gaza offensive intensifies and the death toll rises. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet approved continuing the assault saying it was days from achieving its goal of destroying cross border attack tunnels.

Gaza officials said at more than 1,300 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed, stoking international alarm. Israel has lost 56 soldiers.

Despite evacuation warnings, rolling Israeli ground assaults on residential areas have displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Israel says it is trying to avoid civilian casualties and blames these on Hamas and other Palestinian factions intent on urban combat.

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