MOSCOW, July 31 (RIA Novosti) – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has given an order to mobilize 16,000 additional reserve forces for its Gaza operation, bringing the total number of reservists called to 86,000 since July 8, Agence France-Presse reported Thursday, citing a Israeli military source.
"The Army has issued 16,000 additional mobilization orders to allow troops on the ground to rest, which takes the total number of reservists to 86,000," the IDF spokesperson said.
More than 1,300 Palestinians have died in the ongoing military operation launched by Israel early July against Hamas and its allied militant groups, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Over 40 Israelis have also been killed in the clashes.
Israel launched its Operation Protective Edge to put an end to rocket fire from Gaza back on July 8. On July 17, the Israeli Army switched to a ground assault largely aimed at locating and destroying rocket launchers and underground tunnels used by militants to smuggle arms and secretly enter Israeli territory.