The Israeli Cabinet has approved the mobilization of 10,000 IDF reservists, following two days of a continuous barrage of rocket fire by Hamas, which broke the umpteenth cease-fire on Tuesday with a salvo of medium-range rockets on Be’er Sheva, followed by missiles on Tel Aviv.
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz stated this week a ground invasion of Gaza can be carried out whenever necessary, while several Cabinet ministers have begun to call for a ground offensive aimed at recapturing Gaza.
Gaza terrorists have attacked Israel with more than 300 rockets in three days, putting another end to Egyptian efforts to establish a longer-term truce.
The sudden and powerful return to violence by Hamas has exasperated members of the Israeli Cabinet. Minister Uri Ariel told Israel’s Channel 2 News that “the actions until now did not bring quiet. It’s clear there is no choice but a ground offensive.”
Communications Minister Gilad Erdan told Israel Army Radio Thursday that the resumption of rocket fire from Gaza has inched Israel closer than ever to a decision to fully retake the territory. “Will this happen tomorrow? It’s not certain, since the price for this will be high, but we are closer today to a ground operation than we have been at any point since the start of the operation,” said the minister.
Channel 2 military affairs journalist Ehud Ya’ari, who usually is accurate, said that Hamas has only 25 percent of its rocket and missile stockpile that existed before the war.
However, Hamas has surprised Israel in the past, and it may have more rockets than estimated. It also might have a few longer-range missiles that it is waiting to fire as a last-ditch effort to inflict mass civilian casualties on Israel.