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  1. Is a 48-hour cease-fire (as proposed by France) a possible scenario for assessing Hamas’s intentions?

    Israel is pro cease-fire, but our experience shows these are used to strengthen
    Hamas. The first cease-fire was terminated by Hamas. We’d rather
    negotiate than fight.

  2. Have the attacks in Gaza changed Israel’s policies regarding the Palestinian Authority?

    Israel continues to work with the PA to further diplomatic negotiations.

  3. Is there a connection between the airstrikes and the upcoming election in Israel?

    No, the sole purpose of this operation is to protect Israel’s southern border and allow Israelis to live safely. This operation is indiferrent to politics.

  4. Will Israel try to block emergency aid getting to Gaza from the outside world?

    Israel has let in aid today, including trucks from the UNRWA, Red Cross, and World Food Programme. over the past 6 months or calm, Israel has let in cargo from 17000 trucks.
    http://tinyurl.com/7hmf2y

  5. One side has to stop. Why continue what hasn’t worked (mass arial/ground retaliation)? What about the Arab Peace Initiative?

    We are for negotiations and are currently holding talks with the Palestinian Authority on the 2 state solution. However, we only talk with those who accept our right to live.

  6. 40 years of military confrontation hasn’t brought security to Israel, why is this different?

    We have to protect our citizens. The only way forward is through negotiations. Israel left Gaza in 2005 in a bid for
    peace. Why has Hamas responded to this overture with missiles?

  7. Is there any chance that the PA or Egypt would help Israel’s military in a ground invasion or in general?

    There are no allied forces involved in this operation. We appreciate the efforts by Egypt and the Palestinian Authority to bring about an end to the rocket fire. We see they are excercising their better, judgement.

  8. How many Palestinian lives are worth one Israeli life?

    There is no equation. Every wounded and killed civilian is mourned. Israel is aiming only at Hamas terrorists.

  9. What steps are being taken about the humanitarian situation in the Gaza? Is it enough?

    Israel does everything in its power to prevent deterioration of situation. http://tinyurl.com/7hmf2y

  10. Regarding the MV DIGNITY incident with Israeli vessel, can you explain what ship did what when?

    The Dignity didn’t respond to calls to halt and rammed an IDF ship. It was escorted out to international waters. Until this operation, ships were let in; they are not let in now to keep them from harm.

  11. Why have you chosen to come on Twitter. Is that not political in itself?

    We saw debate on Twitter and saw people who had unreliable information. We felt Twitter would be a good way to put an official voice out there.

  12. Another question: If you are at war with Palestine, then they have every right to attack Israel in order to protect themselves.

    We’re not at war with the Palestinian people. We’re at war with Hamas–a group declared a terrorist organization by the US and the EU.

  13. What are you doing to ensure the media is objective when covering the conflict?

    This is one of our attempts to open Israel up to questions, in addition to using the mainstream media.

  14. How will you deal with oncoming humanitarian crisis in Gaza? (Situation was dire before Israel’s attack.)

    The border crossing into Gaza have remained open for humanitarian aid. See, for example: http://tinyurl.com/93serf

  15. What is your definition of "terrorism"?

    We have the same definition as the rest of the international community: Purposely targeting innocent civilians, like Hamas does in firing 10000+ projectiles since 2001.

  16. Do you accept HAMAS as a democratically elected government?

    Democracy is not only casting a vote at the polls; it is a set of values including: free speech, tolerance, respect for others with differing viewpoints.

  17. If everyone in Gaza holds a bit of a Qassam, will you try to kill them all?

    As you can see on CNN a Hamas rocket brigade is pretty easy to spot. Unfortunately, they use civilians as human shields.

  18. Please explain what a Hamas militant looks like. How old? What gender? What do they wear? Where do they live? Where do they walk?

    They fire Qassams at Israeli civilians. See, for example: http://tinyurl.com/9u4jdl

  19. Do you think it’s possible for people with such a bloody history to ever forgive each other and move forward?

    Israel seeks to live in peace with her neighbors. As a result, we are working with the Palestinian Authority and other moderates toward a two-state solution.

  20. Can you update us on the 48 hour ceasefire?

    As of now we have no more data on the matter.

  21. What is the objective of the Gaza operation? To deter Hamas? To destroy Hamas? Also, what is your PR plan for next week?

    To stop the rockets fired at 500,000 Israelis

  22. How much attention does Israel pay to the religious motivation of Hamas and its effect on their method and tactics?

    Hamas has declared jihad on Israel. This means they will go to any extreme to injure Israeli citizens. In addition, they have activated their suicide bombers

  23. Its interesting that Hezbollah is sitting this one out. I wonder why.

    We’re keeping our eyes on the situation in Lebanon.

  24. The Obama transition team has been relatively “silent online” regarding the Gaza violence. Has Israel been in contact with them?

    See: http://tinyurl.com/9tpyma

  25. You didn’t get my point that Hammas is an elected government, and if you keep attacking them, then they have the right to attack you.

    If Hamas’s goals were to better the lives of its citizens, they wouldn’t target Israel. They would invest in education and health, not in bombs.

  26. When will you stop using the citizens of Sderot as human shields?

    For the definition of human shield see http://tinyurl.com/94vdgn

  27. When you leave the occupied Palestinian territories?

    Israel began with a 2005 withdrawal from Gaza. Israel wants to realize a two-state solution, but not under the constant missile fire from Hamas.

  28. Do you expect Mubarak to keep the Rafah border crossing closed between Egypt and Gaza?

    Expect Egypt to continue what they’ve been doing thus far: Trying to convince Hamas to stop firing rockets, and instead make peace with Israel.

  29. Israel gave away Gaza and no peace resulted. Will Israel continue giving away land?!

    Israel still feels only solution is two states. When Hamas stops firing rockets, we are willing to make more painful concessions.

  30. How do you justify the killing of children? How will that lead to peace?

    Israel does not target civilians the way Hamas does. We mourn every casualty, Palestinian and Israeli.

  31. You say this is for protection. How do you justify the higher number civilian deaths in Palestine than Israel from the action?

    Hamas fires missiles from civilian areas, a violation of international law.

  32. Please explain the visit by Israel’s UN Ambassador to the Secretary General’s office on the night of December 23. What was discussed? Why did she go?

    It was the 22nd.
    link: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Foreign+Relations/Israel+and+the+UN/Issues/Israel_submits_letter_of_complaint_to_the_UN_22-Dec-2008.htm

  33. Isn’t such a harsh, intense and merciless strike on Gaza a form of collective punishment? (4Geneva Conv, Art. 33)

    Israel targets Hamas installations, which are, unfortunately, located within civilian areas. Our war is with Hamas, not with Gaza civilians.

  34. Will Israel finally do what needs to be done to end the terrorism once and for all or bow to world pressure?

    Our main goal is to protect citizens from missiles. We hope the international community will pressure Hamas, not Israel.

  35. How do you reconcile the number of civilian deaths from airstrikes with your definition of terrorism?

    Israel only targets military installations, but unfortunately, damage to civilian targets occurs. However, Hamas purposely puts civilians at risk.

  36. It seems it’s possible that eliminating Hamas is a first step towards taking on Iran–is that a possibility?

    Though Iran is big threat to world peace and provides arms to Hamas, these are different topics.

  37. Follow up question: You said your ships “escorted [DIGNITY] to international waters.” FreeGaza says DIG was in international waters. Are they mistaken?

    The Dignity entered Israeli waters and was escorted out.

  38. Why have international personnel from humanitarian organizations been denied entry to Gaza the last few weeks?

    The borders are open. Today, 38 trucks entered Gaza with goods from UNRWA, IRC, WFP etc. 17,000 trucks entered during the state of calm.

  39. Why is the press not allowed inside Gaza?

    The only reason is to keep them out of harm’s way. As of now, all major wires have footage coming out of Gaza.

  40. International law criminalizes targeting civilians. Are Israeli leaders scared they will be charged with war crimes for killing so many civilians?

    Hamas is the real violator of international law according to Human Rights Watch: http://tinyurl.com/9osg3g

  41. Is there truth to reports that the terrorists place installations and targets around women and children as shields?

    Hamas tries to maximize civilian causalties. This is one method. http://tinyurl.com/3nbxqp

  42. Intelligence gathering for targets to strike must take planning months in advance. Was Israel going to attack regardless?

    Responsible countries must be prepared for any event, whether war or peace.

  43. CNN Confirms Israel Broke Ceasefire First - what can you say about this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KntmpoRXFX4

    Please see our post on the subject:

  44. Peaceful Co-existence - writing to you from Ireland, where we are living through extraordinarily peaceful times. The peace process here has been successful. We are every day amazed here at the sight of former adversaries, militants combatants and terrorists engaged in the political process working together side by side for social economic and political progress. A few short years ago they were at war. The conflicts are at an end. They are gone and it seems they are gone forever. Is there any hope between Israelis and Palestinians for a similar development of dialogue and mutual respect and understanding? Is there anything that could be done to bring this about? You could use perhaps the Northern Ireland experience.

    Thank you for your valuable perspective on the situation. In terms of creating an atmosphere of “dialogue and mutual respect,” Israel has been talking with Mahmoud Abbas and members of his Fatah faction for some years now, which has measurably improved the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank. On the other hand, Israel cannot be party to talks that do not take place in such an environment. Until Hamas decides to end its dedication to eradicating Israel, renounce violence, and abide by the agreements with Israel to which the Palestinians are committed (e.g. Oslo, Wye), Israel can have nothing to do with them. These demands are identical to those of the international community at large.
    As you are aware, no two historical situations are identical; likewise, the situation in Northern Ireland differs markedly from that in Israel and Gaza. While this answer cannot make all the arguments, I refer you to the following article which discusses the subject at length.

  45. Why is it that Israël doesn't have a (good)rocketshield to protect it's citizens against incoming missiles and so on? Or maybe "goalkeepers" near villages..

    Israel has pioneered the Arrow system to provide effective missile defense for the country for longer-range missiles. However, a system to counter Qassams must be able to react in the short times needed to bring down such rockets. For example, it takes a Qassam only 15 seconds to travel to Sderot, and about 30 seconds to get to Ashkelon—that’s really not a lot of time. In addition, most systems are designed for a higher-flying projectile, not a relatively low-flying rocket. Nonetheless, Israeli engineers have been working on such a project for some time, though it is not yet operational.

  46. Do you think Israel is sowing the seeds of a new generation of fighters that will sooner or later take up arms to avenge the systematic killing of civilian and random bombardment of civilians in Gaza?

    The future of Israel’s relationship with Gaza depends almost entirely on the ongoing Palestinian choice between war with Israel or peace for both Israelis and Palestinians. In the past, Hamas has chosen to propagate anti-Semitism and rejection of Israel as tenets of its ideology. Continuing to do so will, as you note, plant “the seeds of a new generation of fighters.” If, however, more enlightened minds prevail and seek peace with Israel, there is every reason to expect that the current generation of young Gazans can be full partners in that joint endeavor.

  47. Do you think it is OK for the Palestinians to kill Israeli children. After all, you are killing theirs ?

    We are deeply sorry for every civilian injured or killed, both Palestinian and Israeli. Nonetheless, there is no comparison between terrorism and the collateral damage of a legitimate military operation. Hamas knowingly violates international law by firing rockets at areas populated solely by civilians and wreaking havoc and destruction on a peace-loving people. Israel’s military response to these rockets, while it may have resulted in the unfortunate deaths of Palestinian civilians, children among them, was directed solely at Hamas, which located itself next to women and children. We hope that there will be no further deaths on either side; Israel has shown its willingness to negotiate with Palestinians and we hope the Palestinians will similarly come to their senses and choose the path of peace.

  48. Are you proud to become a terror state like Sudan, Zimbabwe, North Korea? I think your are the most perfect follower of Nazi Germany. What they did to the Jew, you do exactly to the poor Palestinian civilians.

    The State of Israel has been adamant in her stance that the recent Operation in Gaza was directed against Hamas only, not in any way against the civilian population of the Gaza Strip. Israel was therefore very careful to target those locales that Hamas was known to use. However, Hamas is quite adept at blending in with the civilian population and using civilian resources for its military ends. For example, Hamas housed weapons in mosques and homes, and its fighters often fought out of uniform—precisely in order to raise the civilian casualty rate and give Israel a black eye. The death and suffering caused to civilians on both sides is extremely painful, but such results may very likely occur from Hamas’s decision to exploit its citizens for military ends.

  49. Question: is Gaza occupied by Israel? If not then why is Israel blockading Gaza. Seriously you want your cake and eat it. Making out that under international law you can do one thing as you don’t occupy Gaza then claiming another as it suits. Dumb.

    The current security arrangements regarding the Gaza Strip derive from the Gaza-Jericho Agreement of 1994, which was signed by Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat, as well as American, Egyptian, and Russian dignitaries. This accord stipulated that Israel would be responsible for patrolling the ocean and Gaza coastline, and that the Israeli Navy could act against any ship suspected of any illegal activity. Furthermore, no foreign (i.e. not Israeli or Palestinian) vessels are allowed to approach the Gaza coast, with certain exceptions. Thus, far from imposing a unilateral “blockade,” Israel is actually acting in accordance with a multilateral international agreement signed by the Palestinians themselves.


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