Israel Political Brief November 20, 2012: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton scheduled to arrive in Israel

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Clinton scheduled to arrive in Israel

Source: JTA, 11-20-12

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will arrive in Israel to discuss plans for a ceasefire. Read more »

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Israel Political Brief November 19, 2012: Khaled Mashaal says Benjamin Netanyahu asked for lull; Israel: He’s lying

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Mashaal says Netanyahu asked for lull; Israel: He’s lying

Exiled Hamas leader claims Netanyahu requested truce, but top Israeli official says his comments ‘about as accurate as Hamas’ claims that it downed F-15 or attacked Knesset’

Source: YNet News, 11-19-12

 

שיגורים, נפילות ותקיפות. יום שישי למבצע "עמוד ענן" (צילום:AP)

Day 6 of Operation Pillar of Defense (Photo: AP)

Israel and Hamas agreed on a ceasefire but still disagree on the implementation phases, the Al-Arabiya network quoted unnamed sources as saying Sunday afternoon.

According to the report, Hamas conditioned the agreement on the immediate implementation of a ceasefire, while Israel wants to implement it in two separate phases – apparently a lull in the first stage and the lifting of the naval blockade of Gaza at a later stage.

However, both sides denied the report and accused one another of spreading disinformation. Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal claimed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has requested a truce in the Gaza conflict, but a senior Israeli official said in response that “Hamas’s comments about a ceasefire, alleging that Israel is begging for one, are about as accurate as its claims to have shot down an F-15 (warplane) or attacked the Knesset.”….READ MORE

 

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

Israel Political Brief November 19, 2012: Ceasefire Seems Unlikely, After Khaled Mashaal Speech

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Ceasefire Seems Unlikely, After Mashaal Speech

Hamas claims that Israeli is ‘suing for peace,’ but it is Hamas that is the big loser in this war, says an official

Source: INN, 11-19-12

There may be talk going on about a ceasefire, but Hamas is not interested, said Hamas top terrorist Khaled Mashaal. Speaking in Gaza Monday afternoon, Mashal said that there would be no compromises with Israel. “There may be or may not be an agreement, but that is up to Israel,” he said. “There are efforts by Qatar and Egypt, we are meeting with them every day. But we will not accept any Israeli conditions. If they want a ceasefire, let them stop attacking us. The one who started the violence should end it.”

Instead, he said, Hamas expects Israel to surrender to its demands – specifically the ending of the land and sea blockade around Gaza. “We are not seeking to aggravate the conflict and give the Israelis a reason to invade Gaza,” he said. However, he said, Hamas was prepared for a land operation by the IDF….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 19, 2012: Vast Majority of Israelis Approve of Operation Pillar of Defense, Poll Shows

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Vast Majority of Israelis Approve of Operation, Poll Shows

A poll conducted on behalf of a political education group shows that the vast majority of Israelis support Operation Pillar of Defense.

Source: INN, 11-19-12

Barak and Netanyahu
Barak and Netanyahu
Israel news photo: Flash 90
A poll conducted on behalf of an Israeli political education group showed that the vast majority of Israelis supported Operation Pillar of Defense. According to the poll, taken by the Panels organization on behalf of the the Israeli Center for Political Training (ICPT), 85% of Israelis think that the operation against Hamas is a good idea, and expect that it will end with a positive result for Israel….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 19, 2012: Southern Israel remains under steady rocket barrage

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Southern Israel remains under steady rocket barrage

Source: JTA, 11-19-12

Communities in southern Israel came under a steady barrage of rockets and the Israeli military said it inflicted “severe damage on the rocket launching capabilities of terror organizations” as its Operation Pillar of Defense neared the end of its first week……READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 19, 2012: Israel Deflects 44 Million Cyber Attacks

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Israel Deflects 44 Million Cyber Attacks

Israel said it had become the victim of 44 million cyber attacks since the beginning of Pillar of Defense operation last week.

Source: INN, 11-19-12

Israel said it had become the victim of a mass cyber-warfare campaign with millions of attempts to hack state websites since the beginning of Pillar of Defense counterterrorist campaign last week.

Speaking Sunday ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting, Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said the government was now waging war on “a second front — of cyber attacks against Israel.”

Steinitz said in the past four days, Israel had “deflected 44 million cyber attacks on government websites. All the attacks were thwarted except for one, which targeted a specific website that was down for six or seven minutes.”…READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 18, 2012: President Barack Obama: Missile fire from Gaza must stop first

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Obama: Missile fire from Gaza must stop first

Source: JTA, 11-18-12

President Obama told the Egyptian and Turkish leaders that a resolution to the Gaza-Israel violence must begin with an end to rocket fire into Israel….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 16, 2012: US President Barack Obama, PM Benjamin Netanyahu talk ‘de-escalation’

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Obama, Netanyahu talk ‘de-escalation’

Source: JTA, 11-16-12

President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed “de-escalation” of the Gaza conflict….READ MORE

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 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

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 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

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