As the Israeli government begins an emergency call-up of up to 75,000 reservists, the prospect of a ground invasion of Gaza is becoming clearer.
“My boss has already been mobilized, and now I am responsible for the lives of half of Israel, but calling him for consultation will be hard,” Faina Milman, security official in charge of maintaining the separation barriers between Israel and the Palestinian territories, told Metro. “If the call-up expands, my colleagues will also be taken away. After that, how are we going to be work then will be unclear.”
“But judging by how our military works from the air, the operation on Gaza will be accurate and well-thought-out,” Milman added.
The mood among those mobilized is one of war. Even those Israelis, who support a more peace-seeking, pro-Palestinian politics, are going off to defend their country.
“I am for peace; I continually have arguments with my friends because politically I am not right-wing, I’m not raring to kill Arabs as they are. But I don’t want Jerusalem to be divided and for our lands to be given to Palestinians,” Ilya, a student at Jerusalem University, tells Metro. “For this reason, I am returning to the army.” During his past mandatory army service, Ilya was a driver – he may not shoot but is nevertheless helping the cause.
Ultimately, it’s a personal choice for an Israeli to serve as a reservist or not. What’s more, the army consists of lot of different departments, many of which do not pose any danger. “On account of my wife I signed a paper that I can’t be conscripted into the armed forces,” Sergey, a security employee at the Israeli parliament house (Knesset), admits to Metro.
At the Jerusalem bus stations, there is a bit of chaos. The regular bus schedule is cancelled, many people are left stranded as buses are being used to transport reservists to the Gazan border. About a third of people in the stations are clad in army uniform.
For the time being, the exact date of the ground operation remains unknown, but people are in confident mood. “Now we have the support of America and Europe, and it won’t change until we make some sort of error,” Milman said.
(Photos via Metro World News)