Text size

A Knesset committee on Sunday approved Defense Minister Ehud Barak's request for the call-up of tens of thousands of reservists in light of the ground operation in Gaza that Israel launched on Saturday against Hamas.

Despite approving the measure, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee clarified that not all of the Israel Defense Forces reservists would be called up immediately.

It explained that the mobilization would be gradual, and implemented according to necessity.

While the IDF has relied upon reservists as its principal force in past wars, Israel has usually been hesitant to mobilize them due to the damage to the economy that is caused by their absence from the workforce and the high wages they require.

There was considerable criticism of the army over its treatment of reservists during the Second Lebanon War, centering on claims that many of them were sent into battle inadequately equipped and poorly trained.