Photo: IDF Spokesman’s Office
Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved the IDF's request on Friday evening to increase the amount of reservists enlisted beyond the 30,000 already approved, as Operation Pillar of Defense ended its third day. On Friday morning, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz issued draft orders for 16,000 reservists. Most of the reservists serve in the IDF's Engineering Corps.
The engineering corps would play a vital part in any ground operation into the Gaza Strip, enabling armored vehicles to move across the border into Gaza. The IDF operation to root out terror in the coastal territory has consisted of air raids on terror targets thus far.
The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee unanimously authorized on Thursday Defense Minister Ehud Barak's request to enlist up to 30,000 reservists.
The IDF will issue "order nine," which is an irregular order in cases of emergency for reservists to immediately report to duty.
"The residents of the south are in the real line of fire, and only their strength will allow the IDF to meet its capabilities," Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Ronnie Bar-On (Kadima) said. "Israel is passing on a clear message to terrorist organizations in Gaza that disrupting life in the South will not continue."