Israeli military to mobilize reserve divisions for Gaza operations against Hamas

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The Israeli military said on Sunday it will soon call up two reserve divisions for operations in Gaza, where it has been conducting a war against militant group Hamas.

“In accordance with the situational assessment, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is calling up approximately two reserve brigades for operational activities on the Gazan front,” the military said, though it provided no further details.

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In a separate statement, Israel said that Hamas is holding hostages in Rafah in southern Gaza, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to launch a ground invasion despite international outcry.

“Hamas is still holding our hostages in Gaza... We also have hostages in Rafah, and we will do everything we can to bring them back home,” Israeli military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said at a briefing.

Earlier this month Israel pulled some forces out of Gaza, saying troops would be preparing for further operations in the territory, including in the southern area of Rafah, where more than a million people have taken shelter.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to evacuate civilians from Rafah before any incursion aimed at crushing Hamas battalions there, but that has done little to quell international concern over the planned assault.

With agencies

Read more: 33,729 Palestinians killed in Gaza offensive since Oct. 7, health ministry says

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