The Israel Defense Forces announced an emergency call-up of air-defense reservists Thursday, the second day of hostilities with Gaza militants that an Islamic Jihad official says has just ended in a cease-fire. The IDF, however, denied that a cease-fire agreement has been reached.
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- Gaza militants fire barrage of rockets into southern Israel
- Islamic Jihad issues warning video - in broken Hebrew
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Islamic Jihad’s Khaled al-Batsh wrote on Facebook that the two days of rocket attacks on Israel’s south and strikes by the Israel Air Force had ended in a truce.
The call-up decision was approved by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and conveyed to the security cabinet, which met Thursday morning in Tel Aviv. A senior officer said the call-up was “limited.”
Officially, the call-up must be approved by the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. The committee is authorized to ratify such a move, but the usual procedure is to let the call-up happen immediately, with the panel approving it within 48 hours.
Some committee members are unhappy with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been unable to agree with Finance Minister Yair Lapid on which of two MKs – Tzachi Hanegbi of Netanyahu’s Likud or Ofer Shelah of Lapid’s Yesh Atid – should be the first to head the committee in rotation.
Other members of the committee, however, said that according to a decision made in January, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein can convene the panel and appoint one of the two – or a third person such as MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) – as temporary chairman. The IDF could then receive full approval for moves like Thursday’s call-up.