The Israeli government announced Friday that it called up some 16,000 reservists. Observers fear the decision may be a sign of an imminent land invasion, report local media.
According to Reuters, Israeli tanks and troops are already massed outside Gaza. The Israeli decision comes as the death toll of the Israeli airstrikes against the Gaza Strip continues to rise.
Israeli warplanes continued aerial attacks on the central Gaza Strip late Friday, killing four Palestinians including a Hamas military leader bringing the death toll to 28 since Israel began the operation on Wednesday, reports the Maan News agency.
Earlier MISNA had reported that the spokesman for Medical Services of the Palestinian Territory, Adham Abu Selmaya, said that 21 people had been killed, although that number could rise sharply as the Israeli Air Force has recently dropped over 150 missiles on the Gaza Strip.
“We are trying to coordinate our activities and have already consigned some basic necessities to the Health ministry,” said Gaza Ayman Al Shehabi, spokesman of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to MISNA. He added that after obtaining entry permits for the trucks, “we will provide a list of priority supplies”.
Al Bawaba News is reporting that a rocket fired from Gaza Strip fell Friday in an uninhabited area of the settlement bloc of Gush Etzion in the West Bank near Jerusalem, causing no injuries or major damage, said Luba Samri, a spokesman for the Israeli police. This is the first time in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that a Palestinian rocket falls near Jerusalem.
Egypt’s Prime Minister Hisham Qandil arrived in Gaza this morning on a brief three-hour visit, describing the situation as “disastrous”. Accompanied by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniye, the Egyptian Premier visited the Shifa Hospital, stating “Egypt will not leave Gaza alone,” reports MISNA.
During the Egyptian Prime Minister’s visit to the Palestinian Territory a three hour truce was broken amid mutual accusations.
On a diplomatic level, Tunisian Foreign minister Rafik Abdessalem is expected to arrive in the Gaza Strip tomorrow, and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who defined the Israeli offensive “a crime against humanity”, called an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Cairo, reports MISNA.