Israeli-Palestinian Crisis: Israeli Defense Minister Notes Expanding Ground Operation In Gaza

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Smoke rises in the northern Gaza Strip after an Israeli strike July 25, 2014. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet has rejected proposals for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and is seeking changes to the plans, a government source said on Friday.

An Israeli defense minister told troops Friday that the country might significantly expand its ground operation in Gaza, according to the Associated Press.

The statement came from Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon just hours after Israel’s security cabinet rejected U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s proposal for a cease-fire to end the Gaza conflict. "You need to be ready for the possibility that very soon we will instruct the military to significantly broaden the ground operation in Gaza,” Yaalon was quoted as saying in a statement from his office. 

On Friday, Israili airstrikes hit 30 homes in Gaza after Palestinian leaders called for a “day of rage” in response to the shelling of a United Nations shelter that left 16 people dead. After 18 days of fighting between Israeli and Palestinian forces, the death toll has climbed to more than 840 Palestinians and 35 Israelis.

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