At Israel endured the fourth consecutive day of heavy rocket fire from Gaza and the IDF repeatedly struck terror targets in the Strip, the army said Thursday that it is calling up some 7,000 reservist soldiers.
The reservists will be used to reinforce artillery units, operate the Iron Dome missile defense system and join their units in the Operations Directorate.
The IDF said it has also suspended all leave for combat units due to the intensifying fighting and massive barrages of rocket attacks.
According to the army, it successfully attacked a series of targets in the Strip on Thursday.
"Since this morning, the IDF has attacked eight terror squads who were firing anti-tank rockets at Israeli targets across the border, four of them from inside buildings in the southern Gaza Strip," the IDF said.
The army also said that 25 rockets were launched at the greater Tel Aviv area early Thursday afternoon.
At around 2:30 pm, rocket alert sirens blared in many central cities, including Tel Aviv, Holon and Bat Yam, where a rocket fell into the sea off the coast.
Sirens also sounded in the southern cities of Be'er Sheva and Ashdod, while communities close to the Gaza border endured regular rocket strikes throughout the day.
The Magen David Adom rescue service said a child was moderately wounded while running for bomb shelter in central Israel. Six other people were lightly hurt across the country in the latest barrage.
The military said at least 10 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome in central Israel alone. Hamas said they fired over 100 rockets in the bombardment.
The IDF said that the Air Force shot down an unmanned aircraft that crossed from Gaza into the nearby Eshkol Regional Council on Thursday.
Israel had also received additional warnings of attempts by unmanned aircraft to infiltrate Israeli airspace.
Shortly after the heavy rocket salvo, Defense Minister Benny Gantz indicated that Israel was willing to continue the operation in Gaza for as long as it saw fit.
"We have no time limit, and we have many more objectives,” Gantz said, a day after Primer Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Hamas moves towards ceasefire.
“We have destroyed significant Hamas military assets, taken out senior officials and damaged their underground rocket and launch systems. We will continue to attack and defend until the rocket fire stops and we can ensure long-term calm,” said Gantz, who served as IDF chief of staff during the 2014 war in Gaza.
Meanwhile, the Al-Arabiya network reported Thursday that an Egyptian delegation is holding ceasefire talks with Israel, but no agreement has yet been reached.
According to the network, Israel refused an Egyptian offer of a temporary truce that would allow them to meet with the Palestinian organizations in Gaza, as Israel is determined to destroy Hamas’ weapon stockpiles.
The Egyptians also asked Israel to stop attacking high-rise towers in Gaza and to refrain from launching a ground operation.