The IDF presented a request to the government for the call-up 30,000 reservists over the ongoing escalation in the South.
The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee unanimously authorized on Thursday Defense Minister Ehud Barak's request to enlist reservists and declare a "special status" for towns within 40 km from Gaza.
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."
Bar-On added that IDF Intelligence, together with the Shin Bet and IAF are "crushing Hamas and strengthening Israel's deterrence."
However, the Kadima MK said, "The State of Israel has no intention or desire to harm Gaza residents that are not involved in terror" Bar-On also called on Egypt not to take "hasty unilateral steps," emphasizing the importance of the peace treaty in maintaining regional stability.
On the way into the meeting, MK Arieh Eldad called to cut off Israel-provided electricity and water to Gaza.
"Until Israel goes into Gaza and cuts off their supply lines, Israelis will continue to suffer," he said. "We should have killed [senior Hamas official Ahmed Said Khalil] Jabari the moment [formerly captive soldier] Gilad Schalit crossed the border back into Israel."
Shas MK Nissim Ze'ev said claims that Operation Pillar of Defense is connected to the upcoming election are "delusional," and Hamas did not coordinate its rocket attacks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
"I trust the IDF to make decisions. If they need to go into Gaza, I am sure they will, but we need to strike them from the air as much as possible to keep our soldiers from harm's way," Ze'ev added.
MK Eitan Cabel (Labor) also said the IDF should not hurry into a land incursion into Gaza.
"You know how war starts, but you never know how it will end," Cabel stated. "The only real solution in the South is peace, but if it is currently impossible to make peace, there should at least be security for the residents of the South." Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.
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