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Israel may decide against ground operation

The Israeli government has reportedly decided against carrying out ground operations in northern Gaza, while Israeli troops remain poised at the border awaiting an order to launch a massive attack.

Conservative Israeli media report that the country's national security ministers made the decision at a meeting on Sunday.

Israeli troops have been carrying out air raids in northern Gaza, according to Israel the site of major rocket-firing facilities of the Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas.

The troops have dropped leaflets warning people living in northern Gaza to evacuate their homes to avoid massive airstrikes that will target the area.

According to the United Nations, as of Monday some 17,000 Palestinians have fled their homes and sought shelter in schools and other evacuation centers.

In a related development, the Israeli government has raised the number of its authorized reserves by 8,000 to a total of 48,000. It has also deployed numerous tanks and other vehicles near its border with Gaza.

Jul. 14, 2014 - Updated 12:16 UTC