Israel will not stop its operation in Gaza until the tunnels constructed by Hamas have been destroyed, PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said.
Speaking ahead of a cabinet meeting, he said Israel was determined to destroy the tunnels – used to attack troops and towns – “with or without a ceasefire”.
Earlier Israel called up 16,000 reservists, bringing the total mobilised so far to 86,000.
Some 425,000 people in Gaza have been displaced by fighting, the UN says.
That is as much as 25% of the population of the territory.
The operation began with a focus on Hamas’ rocket-launching capability, but has since expanded to take in the threat from tunnels.
After air strikes began, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) discovered an extensive network of tunnels leading from Gaza into Israel.
Hamas militants have launched several attacks from the tunnels, killing a number of Israeli soldiers.
Reports from Israel suggest the discovery of the tunnels – and the reality that infiltrators have used them to kill Israelis inside their own country – has shocked many Israelis and bolstered support for the operation.
It launched a ground operation to destroy the tunnels on the night of 17 July, and insists that any ceasefire deal includes the right to continue that mission.