Israel mobilizes 20,000 troops for possible ground offensive
Sunday, July 13, 2014 - 01:32
Israeli forces take up positions along the Gaza border, waiting for the green light for a possible ground offensive after six days of air strikes. Vanessa Johnston reports.
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Israeli army tanks line up on the Gaza border Sunday.
A ground war seems likely --- especially in the wake of reports that Israeli commandos conducted an overnight raid on Gaza.
So far, at least 20,000 reservists have been mobilized.
But despite intensified Israeli military action, Islamist Hamas continued to launch rockets on Israeli cities.
In the Israeli city of Ashkelon, one teenager was seriously wounded after being hit with shrapnel in the head and chest.
Israeli Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis had this to say:
(SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI DEPUTY MINISTER, OFIR AKUNIS, SAYING:
"This is terror that wants to kill civilians, and we will handle, we will continue to handle this situation and to hit the Hamas terrorists, the Hamas terrorists, in the Gaza Strip."
And in Tel Aviv, residents ran for shelter as sirens blared.
Over in Gaza, the Health Ministry said at least 160 Palestinians, including about 135 civilians, have been killed in the conflict.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the international community to protect Gaza.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT, MAHMOUD ABBAS, SAYING:
"Israel went deeper in everything and its offensive on the Palestinian nation should be stopped."
The United Nations has called for a ceasefire.
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