Thursday, July 31, 2014 6:02 am
Israel mobilised 16,000 additional reservists, taking their total to 86,000, as military operations in the Gaza Strip continue, an army spokeswoman said Thursday.
“The army has issued 16,000 additional mobilisation orders to allow troops on the ground to rest, which takes the total number of reservists to 86,000,” said the spokeswoman.
The mobilisation came as Israel continued to receive denunciations over the killing of Palestinians in its Gaza campaign.
More than 100 Palestinians were killed Wednesday in the Gaza Strip, among them victims of Israeli fire on a crowded market and a United Nations school.
The United States and United Nations condemned the school shelling and Hamas said it fired rockets into Israel in retaliation for both attacks.
But hours after its condemnation the US said it had agreed to sell Israel fresh ammunition to replenish its dwindling supplies.
At least 17 people were killed in the strike on the market in Shejaiya, near Gaza City, as Israel observed a four-hour humanitarian lull in other parts of the crowded coastal strip.
At least 200 people were wounded in the strike, medics said, on a day that saw at least 111 people killed.
Early Thursday two more people died of wounds sustained previously, bringing the death toll from 23 days of unrelenting Israeli attacks to 1,363.
Hamas said Wednesday it fired rockets at Tel Aviv and the southern port city of Ashkelon in response to the market and school strikes.
The Israeli military said that a rocket hit open ground “in the Tel Aviv area” and another two were intercepted over Ashkelon.
It said that a total of 81 rockets fell in Israel on Wednesday, with another nine shot down by missile defences and that Israel hit 88 targets in Gaza.
Israel had said its brief truce would not apply in places were troops were “currently operating”, hours after the army made what it called a “significant advance” into the narrow coastal strip.
Hamas denounced the four-hour lull as a publicity stunt, saying it had “no value”.
– Furious response –
The market strike came hours after Israeli shells slammed into a UN school in Jabalia refugee camp which was sheltering some 3,300 homeless Gazans, killing 16 and drawing a furious response from the United Nations.
“This morning a UN school sheltering thousands of Palestinian families suffered a reprehensible attack,” UN chief Ban Ki-moon said on a visit to Costa Rica.
“It is unjustifiable, and demands accountability and justice.”