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Cabinet to deliberate on expanding Gaza operation

Ministers will convene to discuss possibility of larger IDF presence in the Strip; Ya'alon: Keep going until you complete the mission.

Ron Ben-Yishai
Published: 07.23.14, 18:14 / Israel News

The Security Cabinet is expected to deliberate on a possible expansion of the IDF ground incursion into the Gaza Strip when it meets Wednesday night. The next step in the escalation of Operation Protective Edge would allow the military to increase the area in which the IDF can operate and limit the freedom of movement of terrorists who have been using sniper rifles and anti-tank missiles to prevent the discovery of tunnels.

 

 

Following extensive reconnaissance of the field and deliberations by senior commanders, the IDF is prepared to launch the next stage of the operation, and the moment the Cabinet decides – within a short period, likely hours, it will be on its way.

 

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon addressed the ongoing efforts to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. "We are preparing the next stages of the fighting once we are finished destroying the tunnels."

 

Ya'alon sent a message to the IDF soldiers on the ground in Gaza: "Keeping going until you complete the mission."

 

The defense minister was briefed by commanders and soldiers about the activity in the different sectors of the Strip. During his visit Ya'alon met with the Golani Brigade commander, Col. Rassan Alian, who was injured in light-to-moderate conditions earlier in the week.

 

Alian had requested to be released despite doctors' orders from the Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva. He returned Tuesday to his men on the front lines. "The brigade continues its operations. I was just with the Egoz Reconnaissance Unit. In the morning I was with the 13th Battalion, they're a bunch of lions."

 

Attila Somfalvi contributed to this response.

 

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