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Israeli army threatens to call up 80,000 reservists, re-occupy Rafah

Aug. 1, 2014 2:27 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 1, 2014 10:33 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Israeli response to the capture of a soldier in Rafah will be "crushing," Israeli media quoted the army as saying on Friday.

Israeli news website Walla said on Friday that the Israeli army threatened to call up to 80,000 reservists and to "re-occupy" Rafah.

Earlier on Friday, Hamas captured an Israeli soldier in an attack on a post east of Rafah inside the Gaza Strip.

Hamas said that Israeli forces had used the announcement of the ceasefire earlier in the evening to expand operations into the area, and the group carried out the attack before a planned ceasefire came into effect at 8 a.m.

Israel, however, said that the attack began after the ceasefire began at 9:30 a.m.

Israel has killed more than 1,500 Palestinians in its assault on Gaza over the last 25 days.

The Gaza Strip was directly occupied by Israel for nearly 40 years beginning in 1967, but in 2005 Israeli forces pulled out and a year later imposed an economic blockade after Hamas was elected in democratic elections.

Israel maintains effective control over Gaza's airspace, borders, and sea, meaning that under international law it is still considered to be occupied.

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