Israeli army calls up 7,000 reservists

Israeli army calls up 7,000 reservists

Israeli army cancels leave for combat unit troops amid heightened violence against Palestinians, reports Hebrew media

By Abdelraouf Arna'out

JERUSALEM (AA) - The Israeli army had called up at least 7,000 reservists as of Thursday amid continued escalation with Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza.

The reservists were called up to bolster Israeli troops deployed within the country, according to the local news channel TV7.

Meanwhile, the Tel Aviv-based Channel 13 reported that Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi ordered that weekend leave be canceled for all soldiers in combat units.

Israel continues to target Gaza with heavy bombardment, so far killing 83 Palestinians, including 17 children and seven women, according to health officials. At least 487 others have been injured, in addition to heavy damage to residential buildings across the enclave.

To date, seven Israelis have been killed in the recent violence -- six of them in rocket attacks in addition to a soldier killed when an anti-tank guided missile struck his jeep.

Tensions have been running high in the Sheikh Jarrah area in occupied East Jerusalem over the past month as Israeli settlers swarmed in following a court order for the eviction of Palestinian families in the area.

Palestinians protesting for the residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been targeted by Israeli forces.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 -- a move that has never been recognized by the international community.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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