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AKIPRESS.COM - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the military will dismantle the Hamas tunnel network in the Gaza Strip "with or without a cease-fire, AP reports.
"Netanyahu said Thursday he will not accept any truce that won't allow Israel to complete its mission of destroying the sophisticated tunnel network, which has been used to carry out deadly attacks inside Israel.
"We are determined to complete this mission with or without a ceasefire," Netanyahu said before a cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv. "I won't agree to any proposal that will not enable the Israeli military to complete this important task for the sake of Israel's security."
Israel says most of the 32 tunnels it has uncovered have now been demolished and that getting rid of the remainder will take no more than a few days.
The remarks came after Israel's military said it was calling up another 16,000 reserves, a move that could enable it to substantially widen its 23-day campaign against Islamic militants in the strip.
Speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to discuss the matter with the press, an Israeli defense official said the purpose of the latest call-up was to provide relief for troops currently on the Gaza firing line.
However, Israeli officials have also said they do not rule out broadening operations in the coming days.
The new call-up orders follow another day of intensive fighting, in which 116 Palestinians and three Israeli soldiers were killed.