Israel Political Brief November 19, 2012: Israel says prefers diplomacy but ready to invade Gaza

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Israel says prefers diplomacy but ready to invade Gaza

Israel bombed dozens of targets in Gaza on Monday and said that while it was prepared to step up its offensive by sending in troops, it preferred a diplomatic solution that would end Palestinian rocket fire from the enclave….READ MORE
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Israel Political Brief November 19, 2012: Doron Weiss, Ex-Shin Bet Deputy Head: Intelligence Expert: Ground Move Required

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Intelligence Expert: Ground Move Required

Ex-Shin Bet Deputy Head says Hamas was caught off balance by IDF attack.
Source: INN, 11-19-12

The former Deputy Head of the Shin Bet intelligence agency supports a ground maneuver by the IDF in Gaza, to follow the air campaign that has been going on for five days.

“Hamas’ people made several meaningful errors in the past few days,” Doron Weiss told Arutz Sheva. “The behavior of [Ahmed] Jaabari, who did not hide and did not take into account the threat to his life, was one such mistake,” he explained.

“The operation will end with an agreement vis-à-vis Hamas regarding a ‘lull’,” he said, “but reaching such an agreement requires that Hamas be brought to a situation in which it understands that it has no choice….READ MORE

Israel Brief November 18, 2012: Fear, rage and resilience in Kiryat Malachi amid the rocket fire

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Fear, rage and resilience in Kiryat Malachi amid the rocket fire

Source: JTA, 11-18-12

The rocket fire didn’t stop while residents of Kiryat Malachi buried the victims of last week’s fatal rocket attack on the city….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 18, 2012: Israel fighting off millions of cyber attacks

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Israel fighting off millions of cyber attacks

Source: JTA, 11-18-12

Israel has repelled some 44 million cyber attacks on government websites since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, a government minister said….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 18, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu says IDF prepared to expand operation, Iron Dome snags rockets aimed at Tel Aviv

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Netanyahu says IDF prepared to expand operation, Iron Dome snags rockets aimed at Tel Aviv

Source: JTA, 11-18-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel “is prepared for a significant expansion of its operation” in the Gaza Strip on a day that dozens of rockets from Gaza were fired at Israel — including at least three at Tel Aviv that were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief November 18, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting on Gaza Missile Attacks & Operation Pillar of Defense

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PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting

Source: PMO, 11-18-12


Photo by GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today:

“By now the IDF has attacked over 1,000 terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip and it is continuing its operations as we speak. It is achieving significant hits on weapons aimed at Israeli citizens, as well as on those who use these weapons and those who dispatch them. We are exacting a heavy price from Hamas and the [other] terrorist organizations, and the IDF is prepared for a significant expansion of its operations.

Today as well,I will continue to speak with world leaders. I appreciate the understanding that they are showing for Israel’s right to defend itself. In my talks with the leaders, I emphasize the effort Israel is making to avoid hitting civilians, and this at a time when Hamas and the [other] terrorist organizations are making every effort to hit civilian targets in Israel. We are a responsible government that is obligated, above all, to the security of its citizens, and we are acting in accordance with this obligation.

Over the weekend, I spoke again with US President Barack Obama. I thanked him for his support of Israel’s right to defend itself and for his contribution, and that of the American people, in developing Iron Dome. I repeat and praise the restraint, determination and resilience of Israel’s citizens on the home front, and I repeat my request to all of you to follow the instructions from IDF Home Front Command because it saves lives.

The operation in the Gaza Strip is continuing and we are prepared to expand it. I appreciate the rapid and impressive mobilization of the reservists who have come from all over the country and turned out for the mission at hand. Reservist and conscript soldiers are ready for any order they might receive.”

Israel Political Brief November 15, 2012: Israel moves troops toward Gaza

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Israel moves troops toward Gaza

Source: AP, 11-15-12

Palestinian militants barraged Israel with more than 200 rockets on Thursday, killing three people as Israel pressed a punishing campaign of airstrikes on militant targets across the Gaza Strip. Three rockets targeted the densely populated Tel Aviv area, setting off air raid sirens in brazen attacks that threatened to trigger an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza.

Late in the day, Israel signaled a ground operation may be imminent as forces moved toward the border area with Gaza. At least 12 trucks were seen transporting tanks and armored personnel carriers, and a number of buses carrying soldiers arrived. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he had authorized the army to call-up additional reservists for possible action. The army said it was prepared to draft up to 30,000 additional troops.

‘‘I ordered the military today to widen the draft of reserve soldiers in order to be able to be ready for any development,’’ Barak said….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 15, 2012: Israel moves troops toward Gaza; Ehud Barak wants 30000 reservists

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Israel moves troops toward Gaza; Barak wants 30000 reservists

At least a dozen trucks carrying tanks, armored vehicles were seen late Thursday moving toward border area, while buses ferried soldiers; Barak asks government to okay reserves call-up ahead of possible ground invasion….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 15, 2012: Can Twitter censor the Israel Defense Forces?

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Can Twitter censor the Israel Defense Forces?

Source: WaPo, 11-15-12

Israel’s Iron Dome defense system fires to intercept incoming missiles from Gaza in the port town of Ashdod. (AP Photo /Tsafrir Abayov)

Israel made history Wednesday when it began live-tweeting its own strike on the Gaza Strip. Now that the initial shock is over, the questions are setting in: Are governments allowed to use Twitter that way? And even if they can, should they?

A rumor widely circulated Thursday morning claimed that the Israel Defense Forces’ Twitter account, @IDFSpokesperson, went down for a 40-minute period, but neither Twitter nor the reporter who first broke the story, Daily Dot’s Kris Holt, have definitively confirmed that the account was suspended. A parody account, @IDFspokesman, was definitely taken down.

Reports have also claimed that Youtube is suspending videos from the IDF’s official channel, but one video that was “removed mistakenly” was reinstated by the site within hours, according to All Things Digital….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 15, 2012: #PillarofDefense v #GazaUnderAttack: Israel conflict plays out on social media

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#PillarofDefense v #GazaUnderAttack: Israel conflict plays out on social media

IDF v Hamas on Twitter.jpg

Nov. 15, 2012: As rockets fly in a new outbreak of deadly violence between Gaza militants and Israel, the latest battlefront is Twitter and social media. (Twitter)

A new voice has been added to the cacophony of war. Amid the chatter of guns, the blast of grenades and the screech of jets, there are tweets. Social media is a new battlefront in the escalating tensions between Israel and Hamas.

It’s a facet of 21st century warfare that will increasingly become the norm in conflict, an expert says….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 15, 2012: Explosion heard in Tel Aviv as Gaza clashes mount

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Explosion heard in Tel Aviv as Gaza clashes mount

Source:  CBS News, 11-15-12

Palestinian militants barraged Israel with nearly 150 rockets on Thursday, killing three people as Israel pressed a punishing campaign of airstrikes on militant targets across the Gaza Strip….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief November 15, 2012: Readout of the US President Barack Obama’s Phone Calls with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi

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Readout of the President’s Phone Calls with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Egyptian President Morsi

Source: WH,  11-15-12

Today, the President spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Morsi about the rocket attacks being launched from Gaza into Israel, and the escalating violence in Gaza.

The President reiterated to Prime Minister Netanyahu the United States’ support for Israel’s right to self-defense in light of the barrage of rocket attacks being launched from Gaza against Israeli civilians.  The President urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties.  The two agreed that Hamas needs to stop its attacks on Israel to allow the situation to de-escalate.  The two leaders agreed to stay in close touch in the coming days.  Earlier today, Vice President Biden received a briefing from Prime Minister Netanyahu on the events in Gaza.

The President also spoke with President Morsi given Egypt’s central role in preserving regional security.  In their conversation, President Obama condemned the rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and reiterated Israel’s right to self-defense.  The two leaders agreed on the importance of working to de-escalate the situation as quickly as possible and agreed to stay in close touch in the days ahead.

Israel Political Brief November 15, 2012: Israel launches retaliation strikes against Hamas rocket attacks

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Israel launches retaliation strikes against Hamas rocket attacks

Source: Fox News, 11-15-12

Israel moved closer to an all-out ground war with Hamas Thursday, as Israeli planes, tanks and gunboats pounded suspected militant positions in Gaza in retaliation for another day of Hamas rocket attacks that left at least three Israelis dead….READ MORE

Israel Brief November 15, 2012: Online campaign urging Israel supporters to wear red

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Online campaign urging Israel supporters to wear red

Source: JTA, 11-15-12

An online campaign is asking people around the world to send in photos of themselves wearing red clothing in support of residents of southern Israel….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 15, 2012: Rocket strikes southern outskirts of Tel Aviv

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Rocket strikes southern outskirts of Tel Aviv

Source: JTA, 11-15-12

A rocket fired from Gaza struck the metropolitan Tel Aviv area….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief November 15, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Statement on Operation Pillar of Defense

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PM Netanyahu’s Statement on Operation Pillar of Defense

Source: PMO, 11-15-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following statement to the foreign press

In recent days and weeks, Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza have made normal life impossible for over one million Israelis. No government would tolerate a situation where nearly a fifth of its people live under a constant barrage of rockets and missile fire, and Israel will not tolerate this situation. This is why my government has instructed the Israeli Defense Forces to conduct surgical strikes against the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza. And this is why Israel will continue to take whatever action is necessary to defend our people.

I want to remind you that seven years ago, Israel withdrew from every square inch of Gaza. Now Hamas, they took over the areas we vacated. What did it do? Rather than build a better future for the residents of Gaza, the Hamas leadership, backed by Iran, turned Gaza into a terrorist stronghold. They fired thousand of rockets at our cities, at our towns, at our civilians, at our children. They’ve smuggled thousands of rockets and missiles into Gaza, and they deliberately place these rockets and missiles in civilian areas: in homes, in schools, near hospitals. This year alone, the fired over one thousand rockets and missiles at Israel, included close to 200 rockets in the last 24 hours.

I’m stressing this because it’s important to understand one simple point. There is no moral symmetry; there is no moral equivalence, between Israel and the terrorist organizations in Gaza. The terrorists are committing a double war crime. They fire at Israeli civilians, and they hide behind Palestinian civilians. And by contrast, Israel takes every measure to avoid civilian casualties. I saw today a picture of a bleeding Israeli baby. This picture says it all: Hamas deliberately targets our children, and they deliberately place their rockets next to their children. Despite this reality, and it’s a very difficult reality, Israel will continue to do everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties.

I have to say that from my talks with world leaders, I have the clear understanding that they have a clear understanding of this. Yesterday I spoke to President Obama and I briefed him on Israel’s operations. I want to express my appreciation once again to President Obama for his unequivocal clear sided support for Israel’s right to defend itself. I also want to express my appreciation to the other world leaders I’ve had a chance to speak to in the last 24 hours: to President Hollande of France, to UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon, to EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton and to Quartet representative Tony Blair. I want to thank them for their understanding of Israel’s need to defend itself, and Israel’s right to defend itself.

In the past 24 hours Israel has made it clear that it will not tolerate rocket and missile attacks on its civilians. I hope that Hamas and the other terror organizations in Gaza got the message. If not, Israel is prepared to take whatever action is necessary to defend our people.”

Israel Political Brief November 15, 2012: Three Israelis killed by rocket from Gaza, UN Security Council meets

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Three Israelis killed by rocket from Gaza, U.N. Security Council meets

Source: JTA, 11-15-12

Three Israelis were killed when a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit their home in southern Israel….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 14, 2012: Israel prepares for expansion of Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza

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Israel prepares for expansion of Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza

Source: Haaretz, 11-14-12

Over 80 rockets fired at Isrel on Wednesday; more than 20 rockets intercepted by Iron Dome System; Israeli cabinet authorizes IDF reservists call-up. 

Gaza Map
Following four days of escalation on the Israel-Gaza border, Israel launched a military operation in the Gaza Strip Wednesday, killing Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari in an airstrike, and targeting weapons warehouses and long-range rocket launchers….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 14, 2012: Israel hammers Gaza with airstrikes, warns of ground operation

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Israel hammers Gaza with airstrikes, warns of ground operation

After hammering the Gaza Strip with 20 airstrikes Wednesday in retaliation for rocket attacks, killing the commander of Hamas’s military arm and nine others, the Israeli military has warned that its campaign could escalate into a ground operation…READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 14, 2012: Rocket attacks intensify, IDF reservists called up after Israel kills Hamas leader in Gaza

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Rocket attacks intensify, IDF reservists called up after Israel kills Hamas leader in Gaza

Source: JTA, 11-14-12

The Israeli army began moving infantry units to the south and calling up reservists in preparation for a further escalation of hostilities with Hamas after an Israeli airstrike killed Hamas’ military chief in the strip….READ MORE

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