Stephen Shalom: Q&A on Gaza (2 of 2)


Richard Moore

Question and Answer on Gaza

By Stephen Shalom 

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Israel’s subsequent phone calls and leaflets do not meet its obligation to protect civilians for several reasons.
First, Israel calls more homes than it actually attacks. As Amnesty International notes:
“Compounding the atmosphere of fear resulting from the Israeli bombardments, Israeli forces have been sending seemingly random telephone messages to many inhabitants of Gaza telling them to leave their homes because of imminent air strikes against their houses. Such messages have been received by residents of multi-storey apartment building, causing panic not only for those who received the calls but for all their neighbours…. The threatening calls seem to aim to spread fear among the civilian population, as in most cases no air strikes were carried out against the buildings. If this is the purpose, rather than to give effective warning, this practice violates international law and must end immediately.[97]
Second, in densely packed urban areas, moving from one location to another is no guarantee of safety.[98]
And third, when Israel is targeting individuals, warnings either give the target time to escape or come too late to help those who are not targeted.[99]
Imagine if Hamas broadcast an announcement that warned all Israelis in the south of the country to flee their homes if they are near military installations. Would that absolve Hamas for moral responsibility for all civilian deaths?
At a minimum, Israel has certainly targeted some categories of people and some categories of buildings that international law prohibits them from targeting.
They have targeted police. International law distinguishes between police who are involved in armed combat and those who have essentially civilian functions (whether they are armed or not).[100] In its opening salvo, Israel bombed (in the words of the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem) “the main police building in Gaza and killed, according to reports, forty-two Palestinians who were in a training course and were standing in formation at the time of the bombing. Participants in the course study first-aid, handling of public disturbances, human rights, public-safety exercises, and so forth. Following the course, the police officers are assigned to various arms of the police force in Gaza responsible for maintaining public order.”[101]
It is true, of course, that these police trainees might have become Hamas fighters at a later point in time. But it is also true that attacks on many Israeli civilian targets kill those who — given widespread membership in the reserves — might later be called to military duty. It would be grotesque to justify the suicide bombing of a bus by pointing to the reserve status of the victims. It is no less grotesque to justify the slaughter of these police cadets.
Israel has also targeted government buildings and anyone connected to Hamas, regardless of their war role, and Israeli officials have acknowledged that these attacks were intentional and have felt no need to show that the building or person in question had a military connection. A senior Israeli military official told the Washington Post, “There are many aspects of Hamas, and we are trying to hit the whole spectrum, because everything is connected and everything supports terrorism against Israel.” Major Avital Leibovitch, an IDF spokeswoman, said, “Anything affiliated with Hamas is a legitimate target.”[102] Brigadier General Dan Harel declared:
“We are hitting not only terrorists and launchers, but also the whole Hamas government and all its wings…. We are hitting government buildings…. After this operation there will not be one Hamas building left standing in Gaza….”[103]
And so, Israel bombed the Parliament, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Labor, Construction and Housing, and numerous other government buildings. It bombed money exchange shops as a way to cut off Hamas’s funds.[104] “‘Hamas’s civilian infrastructure is a very, very sensitive target. If you want to put pressure on them, this is how,’ said Matti Steinberg, a former top adviser to Israel’s domestic security service and an expert on Islamist organizations.”[105] On January 13, the New York Times reported that Israeli intelligence officials said that although the military wing of Hamas remained substantially intact, (in the Times’s words) “greater damage has been done to Hamas’s capacity to run the Gaza strip, with a large number of government buildings destroyed over the course of the operation.”[106]
The Israeli-government linked think tank, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, offered this explanation for the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza:
“Recently, the humanitarian problems in the Gaza Strip worsened as a result of the fighting and Hamas administration’s dysfunction. Blackouts have been reported throughout the Gaza Strip resulting from the collapse of power lines. Kanaan Abaid, deputy chairman of the Palestinian Energy Authority, claimed it was impossible to send teams to fix power failure because of the attendant danger…. The local authorities reportedly do not function, garbage is not collected and the basic infrastructure is not repaired. In addition, there is a lack of goods usually smuggled in from Egypt because the tunnels have been bombed by the IDF.”[107]
But of course the Hamas administration’s dysfunction is precisely a result of Israeli attacks on it. And the fact that the people of Gaza in order to survive depend on goods smuggled in from Egypt through tunnels that Israel is now bombing is a result of the Israeli blockade.
The next day this same think tank attributed the humanitarian crisis in part to “the dysfunction of the Hamas administration, which has gone underground and proved itself incapable of providing solutions for the difficulties facing the Gazans.”[108] How irresponsible of the Hamas administration to have gone underground just when they were needed to solve the difficulties faced by Gazans!
As of January 14, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported 1,013 deaths, of which 40 percent were women and children.[110] The killing of numerous male civilians has been well-documented: in addition to police and government personnel, an anti-Hamas judge (and father of a Human Rights Watch consultant), medical staff, drivers, and many more.[111]
As of January 14, more than 4,500 were reported wounded, half of them women and children.[112] Moreover, many of the wounded will die because of a lack of timely and adequate medical care. Gaza’s hospitals are overwhelmed and lack reliable power and sufficient supplies, ambulances are afraid to travel and Israel has blocked access by emergency medical vehicles.[113] According to Human Rights Watch, “Only four critically injured patients have been transferred to Israel since the start of the conflict,” in part because Israel demanded financial guarantees for the medical costs of wounded Palestinians. Since the start of the ground campaign on January 3, transfers to Israel ended.[114]
The Foreign Press Association sued for acess to Gaza and the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the IDF had to allow limited entry to pool reporters. But the military has thus far refused to comply.[116] The director of the Israeli Government Press Office, Danny Seaman, told the New York Times that “any journalist who enters Gaza becomes a fig leaf and front for the Hamas terror organization, and I see no reason why we should help that.”[117]
The New York Times reported:
“At the same time that reporters have been given less access to Gaza, the government has created a new structure for shaping its public message, ensuring that spokesmen of the major government branches meet daily to make sure all are singing from the same sheet.
“‘We are trying to coordinate everything that has to do with the image and content of what we are doing and to make sure that whoever goes on the air, whether a minister or professor or ex-ambassador, knows what he is saying,’ said Aviv Shir-On, deputy director general for media in the Foreign Ministry. ‘We have talking points and we try to disseminate our ideas and message.'”[118]
The Israeli propaganda machine includes U.S. organizations, like “The Israel Project,” which repeats every Israeli claim, no matter how outlandish. So, for example, the Israel Project asserted on January 2 that
Warehouses in Gaza are filled to capacity, according to international aid groups.…The World Food Program informed Israel that it would cease shipment of food to Gaza because the warehouses there are at full capacity, with enough food to last two weeks.”
(Its source was a statement from the Israeli Foreign Ministry.)[119]
Here were the actual facts:
December 18: “Due to the ongoing crisis with irregular border access and the lack of wheat flour in Gaza, UNRWA has exhausted all stocks of flour in its warehouses. Wheat supplies scheduled to arrive in Gaza the 9-10 December were unable to enter due to rocket fire, hence the mills have run out of flour and UNRWA has been forced to suspend food distribution.”[120]
December 23: “The ongoing closures have significantly reduced the capacity of UN humanitarian agencies to provide assistance in the event of an escalation in violence. UN humanitarian assistance programs have run out of stock for several essential supplies and are facing severe difficulties in implementing their regular programmes. UNRWA has no flour or cash-notes to distribute, affecting thousands of dependant beneficiaries. WFP has been unable to preposition stocks; in case of an emergency, it has no food available within the Gaza Strip.”[121]
December 28: “Due to the depletion of wheat in the Gaza, all major Gaza mills were forced to shut down. Long queues of people at functional bakeries were reported. UNRWA stock of wheat grain is still at zero.”[122]
January 3: “Since 27 December, WFP (through implementing partners) has distributed only a fraction of the 1350 metric tonnes available and the food that is currently being distributed should have been distributed in the October-December cycle. UNRWA resumed its prior food distribution in seven distribution centres on 1 January which it had suspended on 18 December; distributions are continuing today.”[123]
January 12: “Many basic food items, including food for infants and malnourished children, are no longer available.”[124]
A poll published on January 15, showed 82 percent of Israelis don’t think Israel has “gone too far” which means that almost the entire Jewish population is backing the war.[126] Almost. There have been many antiwar protests, most often in Arab areas, but sometimes including both Jewish and Palestinian Israelis. A demonstration numbering in the thousands took place in Tel Aviv on January 3.[127] A petition calling for an end to the IDF operation in Gaza and for a renewal of the truce with Hamas was signed by 500 residents of Sderot, the Israeli town bordering Gaza that has been on the receiving end of so many rockets.[128]
But there is no doubt that war-fever is running rampant in Israel. The Central Elections Committee has banned two Israeli Arab parties from running in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Even if the Supreme Court reverses this ruling, it is frightening that in addition to the rightwing parties, the two major government parties, Kadima and Labor, both voted for the ban.[129]

The United States

The United States has served as Israel’s enabler for at least forty years. According to the Congressional Research Service:
Because Israel is among the top fifty richest countries in the world, its need for economic aid has declined, but as economic aid has gone down, military aid has been increasing. And this doesn’t exhaust the financial benefits Israel receives from the United States government:
“Israel can use U.S. military assistance both for research and development in the United States and for military purchases from Israeli manufacturers. In addition, all U.S. foreign assistance earmarked for Israel is delivered in the first 30 days of the fiscal year. Most other recipients normally receive their aid in installments. Congress also appropriates funds for joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs.”[131]
“U.S. military aid has helped transform Israel’s armed forces into one of the most technologically sophisticated militaries in the world. U.S. military aid for Israel has been designed to maintain Israel’s qualitative edge over neighboring militaries…. U.S. military aid, a portion of which may be spent on procurement from Israeli defense companies, also has helped Israel to build a domestic defense industry, which ranks as one of the top ten suppliers of arms worldwide.”[132]
Among the weapons that the United States has provided to Israel are the F-16s and the Apache helicopters that are being used against Gaza. According to analyst Phyllis Bennis, “Between 2001 and 2006, Washington transferred to Israel more than $200 million worth of spare parts for its fleet of F-16s. Just last year, the U.S. signed a $1.3 billion contract with the Raytheon corporation to provide Israel with thousands of TOW, Hellfire, and ‘bunker buster’ missiles.” Bennis concludes: “In short, Israel’s lethal attack today on the Gaza Strip could not have happened without the active military support of the United States.”[133]
The United States has also provided Israel with crucial diplomatic support. By means of its veto power in the United Nations Security Council, Washington has been able to prevent the passage of any resolution that it deems too critical of Israel. From 1967 to 2008, the United States has cast its veto 42 times to protect Israel (this was more than half of all the vetoes ever cast by the United States on any issue at all, and about three eighths of all the vetoes cast during these years by any country on any issue).[134] But this record far understates the benefit to Israel of the U.S. veto: countless criticisms of Israel never even make it to the resolution stage because of the expectation that Washington will reject them.
There was international sentiment for a ceasefire almost as soon as Israel launched Operation Cast Lead. But the United States prevented any Security Council resolution to this effect.[135] Finally, on January 8, more than 12 days into the Israeli assault, as the slaughter got simply too obscene to spin, the United States abstained on a ceasefire resolution (which passed 14-0, with one abstention). But Israel promptly announced that it was going to ignore the resolution.[136] And though the Security Council has the power to impose sanctions — economic or military — against nations that refuse to comply with its mandates, one can be sure (and its abstention signaled) that Washington will make certain that no such enforcement action gets taken against Israel.
That depends, of course, on what the American people do. Public opinion polls show only modest backing for Israel,[137] which is quite remarkable given the strong media tilt toward Israel. The Israel lobby has vast resources and tremendous political clout, but it increasinglydoes not speak for all American Jews. J Street, calling itself the political arm of the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” movement has gotten some traction on Capitol Hill.[138]
But those concerned with peace and justice will have to do much better in building a movement to end Washington’s blank check for Israel and in reining in Israeli aggression. As long as Israel has U.S. backing, it will continue its long-standing oppression of the Palestinian people. But if we exert enough pressure, perhaps we can change U.S. policy. Only by doing so can we end this latest explosion of Israeli brutality, and, more than that, end the occupation that has for so long denied the Palestinian people their basic rights.
Stephen R. Shalom teaches political science at William Paterson University in New Jersey. He is on the board ofNew Politics and writes for ZNet. Thanks for helpful comments to Bashir Abu-Manneh, Gilbert Achcar, Joanne Landy, and Justin Podur, none of whom is responsible for my opinions or errors.


Click on a section title to jump to that section or on a question number to jump to that question.


1. Doesn’t Israel have the right to defend itself and its population from rocket attacks?


2. While conquests in wars of aggression are clearly illegal, didn’t Israel obtain the West Bank and Gaza as the result of a defensive war against an attack waged by neighboring Arab states?
3. Hasn’t Israel withdrawn from Gaza, thereby ending its occupation?
4. Regardless of whether the occupation legally continues, didn’t Israel give up its settlements and its military bases in Gaza?
5. Why should Israel have an obligation to open its borders with or transmit electricty or fuel to Gaza? Doesn’t it have the sovereign right to close its borders as it wishes?
6. Gaza shares a land border with Egypt. Why is Israel blamed for cutting off Gaza’s borders?


7. Didn’t Hamas just use the Israeli disengagement from Gaza as an opportunity to launch rockets at Israel without provocation?
8. How did Israel and the West react to Hamas’s election victory?
9. How could Hamas be a partner for peace? Didn’t they refuse the three U.S.-Israeli conditions: that they recognize Israel, renounce violence, and agree to accept all agreements previously accepted by the Palestinian Authority?
10. Hasn’t Hamas refused to ever accept the existence of Israel?
11. Doesn’t Hamas support Islamic fundamentalism and anti-Semitism?
12. Is Hamas a terrorist organization?
13. How can Israel be accused of terrorism since it doesn’t intentionally kill civilians, and views all civilian deaths that it causes as regrettable accidents?
14. Isn’t Hamas’s firing of inaccurate rockets a violation of international humanitarian law?
15. Does the fact that Israel has killed civilians justify Palestinian attacks on civilians?
16. Didn’t Hamas kidnap an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit?
17. Didn’t Hamas launch a military coup against Fatah and the Palestinian Authority in Gaza?
18. Isn’t Hamas just a pawn of Iran?

The Lull

19. What were the terms of the June 2008 ceasefire with Israel?
20. What did the lull terms say about the smuggling in of weapons?
21. What happened during the lull?
22. Wasn’t it legitimate for Israeli troops to go into Gaza to destroy a tunnel being used for a planned kidnapping?
23. Why was the lull not extended?
24. Can Hamas be trusted not to break truces and ceasefires?
25. Given the barrage of rockets that was launched from Gaza after the lull ended on December 19, did Israel have any alternative to a military attack?
26. If the cease-fire had been extended, couldn’t Hamas have smuggled in rockets of longer and longer range until even Tel Aviv was vulnerable? Doesn’t that mean that any new ceasefire would have had to include a provision to prevent weapons smuggling, and hence would have been unacceptable to Hamas?

The Conduct of Operation Cast Lead

27. What does it mean to say that Israel should have responded proportionately?
28. Since Hamas places its military assets in civilian areas, thus using the population as human shields, isn’t Hamas responsible for all the harm to civilians?
29. Israel calls the homes it is planning to attack and drops leaflets warning civilians to get away from military targets. Doesn’t that meet its obligation to protect the civilian population?
30. Has Israel been intentionally targeting civilians in Gaza?
31. Haven’t the vast majority of those killed by Israel been, not civilians, but terrorists?
32. Aren’t there many things we don’t know yet? Shouldn’t we reserve judgment until all the facts are in?
33. Are Israelis unanimous in backing their government policy?

The United States

34. What’s been the role of the United States?
[1] “Excerpts from Begin Speech at National Defense College,” New York TimesAug. 21, 1982.

[2] Donald Macintyre, “Secret memo shows Israel knew Six Day War was illegal,” The Independent, May 26, 2007.

[3] International Court of Justice, Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Advisory Opinion, July 9, 2004; Declaration of Judge Buergenthal (agreeing that the Israeli settlements violate Article 49, paragraph 6, of the Fourth Geneva Convention and thus violate international humanitarian law).

[4] John Dugard, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, report transmitted by the Secretary General, “Situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,” UN General Assembly doc. A/61/470, Sept. 27, 2006.

[5] Human Rights Watch, “Letter to Olmert: Stop the Blockade of Gaza,” Nov. 20, 2008.
[6] Sari Bashi and Kenneth Mann, Disengaged Occupiers: The Legal Status of GazaTel Aviv: Gisha: Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, Jan. 2007.

[7] Chris McGreal, “Israel redraws the roadmap, building quietly and quickly; Settler population grows as Sharon grabs more West Bank land than he returned in Gaza,” Guardian, Oct. 18, 2005.

[8] Avi Shavit, “The big freeze,” Haaretz, Oct. 8, 2004.

[9] Bashi and Mann, Disengaged Occupiers, p. 41.

[10] Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), Rocket threat from the Gaza Strip, 2000-2007, Dec. 2007, pp. 38, 41. Other sources give different counts, perhaps counting firings instead of hits in Israel.

[11] The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center is part of the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC), an NGO dedicated to the memory of the fallen of the Israeli Intelligence Community. It is run by former Israeli intelligence personnel, has a collection of captured Palestinian materials, is routinely cited on the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, and, to my knowledge, has never published a critical word about Israel or taken a position that differs from that of the Israeli government.

[13] United Nations, Office for the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), “Gaza Strip Situation Report,” Oct. 31, 2005; OCHA, “Protection of Civilians – Weekly Briefing Notes,” Oct. 19-25, 2005; OCHA, “Protection of Civilians – Weekly Briefing Notes,” Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 2005.

[14] National Democratic Institute, Final Report on the Palestinian Legislative Council Elections, January 25, 2006(Washington, DC: 2006).

[15] See Stephen Zunes, America’s Hidden Role in Hamas’s Rise to Power,” ZNetJan. 5, 2009.

[16] International Crisis Group (ICG), Palestinians, Israel and the Quartet: Pulling Back from the Brink, Crisis Group Middle East Report No. 54, June 13, 2006, p. 23.

[17] United Nations, Department of Public Information, “General Assembly Adopts 52 Resolutions, 6 Decisions Recommended By Third Committee on Wide Range of Human Rights, Social, Humanitarian Issues,” GA/10801, Sixty-third General Assembly, Dec. 18, 2008.

[18] See the website maintained by Jewish Voices for Peace, (accessed 1/7/09).

[19] See note 3.

[21] See the data collected by Foundation for Middle East Peace, “Comprehensive Settlement Population, 1972-2007.”

[22] U.S. Congressional Record, May 24, 2006, p. 3144.

[23] See, for example, Ismail Haniya, “A just peace or no peace,” Guardian, Mar. 31, 2006 (“a total Israeli withdrawal from all the land occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem”); Danny Rubinstein, “Haniya tellsHaaretz: Withdrawal to 1967 borders will lead to peace,” Haaretz, May 23, 2006 (summary here); Ismail Haniyeh, “Aggression Under False Pretenses,” Washington Post, July 11, 2006 (“statehood for the West Bank and Gaza, a capital in Arab East Jerusalem, and resolving the 1948 Palestinian refugee issue fairly.”); Ahmed Yousef, “What Hamas Wants,” New York Times, Nov. 1, 2006 (“offered a 10-year cease-fire with the Israelis to try to create an atmosphere of calm in which we resolve our differences”); Khalid Mish’al, “Our unity can now pave the way for peace and justice,” Guardian, Feb. 13, 2007; Amira Hass, “Haniyeh: Hamas willing to accept Palestinian state with 1967 borders,” Haaretz, Nov. 9, 2008. See also Jennifer Loewenstein, “Setting the Record Straight on Hamas,” CounterPunch, June 12, 2006; Khalid Mish’al interviewed by Ibrahim Humaydi, Damascus, October 10, 2006, published in al-Hayat, October 12, 2006, quoted in Sherifa Zuhur, Hamas and Israel: Conflicting Strategies of Group-Based Politics (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, Dec. 2008), pp. 45-46 (“The movement accepts a state within the 1967 borders and a truce.”); ICG, Palestinians, Israel and the Quartet: Pulling Back from the Brink, p. 3 (“I say unambiguously: Hamas does not and never will recognise Israel. Recognition is an act conferred by states, not movements or governments, and Palestine is not a state. Nevertheless, the government’s program calls for the end of the occupation, not the destruction of Israel, and Hamas has proposed ending the occupation and a long-term truce (hudna) to bring peace to this region. That is Hamas’s own position. The government has also recognised President Abbas’s right to conduct political negotiations with Israel. If he were to produce a peace agreement, and if this agreement was endorsed by our national institutions and a popular referendum, then – even if it includes Palestinian recognition of Israel – we would of course accept their verdict. Because respecting the will of the people and their democratic choice is also one of our principles.” Crisis Group interview with Riad Mustafa, a Hamas parliamentarian, Ramallah, May 2006).

[24] Kevin Peraino, “‘We’ll Have to Talk’; In spite of escalating violence, a growing chorus of Israelis have begun calling for negotiations with Hamas,” Newsweek Web Exclusive, Mar. 7, 2008.

[25] Laura Rozen, “Shalom, Hamas,” Mother Jones, July-Aug. 2008.

[26] ICG, Ruling Palestine I: Gaza Under Hamas, Middle East Report No. 73, Mar. 19, 2008, pp. 15-16.
[27] U.S. Dept. of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, “Israel and the occupied territories,” inInternational Religious Freedom Report 2008, Sept. 19, 2008.

[28]Hamas Charter, 1988, article 32.

[29] See ICG, Dealing With Hamas, Middle East Report No. 21, Jan. 26, 2004, p. 13 (“many observers have concluded that attempts to understand Hamas today by reference to a fifteen-year old founding document is of limited value. Indeed, a closer examination of its current operating environment, institutional interests, organisational agendas, political objectives and alliances and rivalries yields a more nuanced picture.”).
[30] See, e.g., Steven Erlanger, “In Gaza, Hamas’s Insults to Jews Complicate PeaceApril 1, 2008; and, generally,Meir Litvak, “The Anti-Semitism of Hamas,” Palestine-Israel Journal, vol. 12, no. 2&3, 2005.,” New York Times,

[31]Yuval Yoaz and Jack Khoury, “Civil rights group: Israel has reached new heights of racism,” Haaretz, Dec. 16, 2007Avirama Golan, “Study: Israeli Jews becoming increasingly racist toward Arabs,” Haaretz, March 19, 2008; Maureen Meehan, “Israeli Textbooks and Children’s Literature Promote Racism and Hatred Toward Palestinians and Arabs,” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Sept. 1999, pp. 19-20.

[32] Reuters, “Rahm Emanuel apologizes for father’s disparaging remarks about Arabs,” Haaretz, Nov. 14, 2008 (“Obviously, [my son] will influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn’t he? What is he, an Arab? He’s not going to clean the floors of the White House.”)
[33] Matthew Wagner, “Eliyahu advocates carpet bombing Gaza,” Jerusalem Post, May 30, 2007.

[35] Zuhur, Hamas and Israel: Conflicting Strategies of Group-Based Politics, pp. 54-55. Actually the Dimona attack was on Feb. 4, 2008.

[36] U.S. Department of State, Patterns of Global Terrorism: 2001, May 2002.
[37] See the report by the Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, Act of Vengeance: Israel’s Bombing of the Gaza Power Plant and its Effects, Status Report,Sept. 2006.

[38] For a few examples, see Gisha (Legal Center for Freedom Movement), Gaza Closure Defined: Collective Punishment: Position Paper on the International Law Definition of Israeli Restrictions on Movement in and out of the Gaza Strip, Tel Aviv: Dec. 2008; B’Tselem, “27 Nov. ’08: Gaza: Power and water cuts and bread shortage” (“Not allowing the entry of goods into Gaza in response to the rocket fire constitutes unlawful collective punishment imposed on one and a half million civilians.”); Human Rights Watch, “Letter to Olmert: Stop the Blockade of Gaza,” Nov. 20, 2008 (“We are writing to express our deep concern about Israel’s continuing blockade of the Gaza Strip, a measure that is depriving its population of food, fuel, and basic services, and constitutes a form of collective punishment.”); Amnesty International, “Trapped — collective punishment in Gaza,”Aug. 27, 2008; Amnesty International UK, CARE International UK, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Médecins du Monde UK, Oxfam, Save The Children UK and Trócaire, The Gaza Strip: A Humanitarian Implosion, Mar. 6, 2008, p. 5 (“The blockade has effectively dismantled the economy and impoverished the population of Gaza. Israel’s policy affects the civilian population of Gaza indiscriminately and constitutes a collective punishment against ordinary men, women and children.”) Human Rights Watch further notes that “Israeli officials have implicitly acknowledged that the blockade of Gaza amounts to collective punishment. ‘There is no justification for demanding we allow residents of Gaza to live normal lives while shells and rockets are fired from their streets and courtyards at Sderot and other communities in the south,’ Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on January 23, 2008. Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman Shlomo Dror said on January 18, 2008: ‘If Palestinians don’t stop the violence, I have a feeling the life of people in Gaza is not going to be easy.‘” (Human Rights Watch, “Deprived and Endangered: Humanitarian Crisis in the Gaza Strip,” Jan. 13, 2009.)
[39] John Dugard, “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,” UN Human Rights Committee, A/HRC/7/17, Jan. 21, 2008, paragraph 26 (“Above all, the Government of Israel has violated the prohibition on collective punishment of an occupied people contained in article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”); John Dugard, Expert on Human Rights In Occupied Palestinian Territories Says Urgent Security Council Action Needed on Situation In Gaza,” UN Press Release, Nov. 8 2006 (“This brutal collective punishment of a people, not a government, has passed largely unnoticed by the international community.”); Richard Falk, “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967,” Aug. 25, 2008, A/63/326paragraph 43 (“The whole approach taken towards Gaza by Israel and by the United States of America and the European Union, since the Hamas electoral victory in January 2006, involves a massive and unlawful systematic violation of article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which unconditionally prohibits collective punishment…”); Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the UN Secretary General, referred to “The collective punishment of the population of Gaza, which has been instituted for months now…” (quoted in Amnesty International, “Trapped — collective punishment in Gaza,” Aug. 27, 2008).

[40] Thomas L. Friedman, “Israel’s Goals in Gaza,” New York Times, Jan. 13, 2009. See the discussion in Glenn Greenwald, “Tom Friedman offers a perfect definition of ‘terrorism’,” Salon, Jan. 14, 2009.
[41] Amnesty International, Statement before the UN Commission on Human Rights, Mar. 26, 2002, MDE 15/027/2002 (“Israeli forces have consistently carried out killings when no lives were in danger.”).

[42] Amnesty International, “Israel and the Occupied Territories: The Heavy Price of Israeli Incursions,” MDE 15/042/2002, April 2002, p. 1 (“they … killed and targeted medical personnel and journalists”).

[44] B’Tselem, “Statistics: Fatalities, 29.9.2000 – 30.11.2008,” accessed 1/6/09. 1,221 of the 2,990 Gazans killed were participating in hostilities and for the remaining 387 it was unknown whether they were participating in hostilities.

[45] ITIC, Rocket threat from the Gaza Strip, 2000-2007, Dec. 2007, pp. 72, 74, 101-02 (two additional mortar victims were soldiers); ITIC, Summary of rocket fire and mortar shelling in 2008, Jan. 1, 2009, p. 3.

[46] Sharon cited in Amnesty International, “Israel and the Occupied Territories: The Heavy Price of Israeli Incursions,” MDE 15/042/2002, April 2002, p. 1.

[47] Charles D. Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 4th ed. (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2001), p. 490.

[48] Yossi Sarid, “If you (or I) were Palestinian,” Haaretz, Jan. 2, 2009.

[50] Amnesty International UK, CARE International UK, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Médecins du Monde UK, Oxfam, Save The Children UK and Trócaire, The Gaza Strip: A Humanitarian Implosion, March 6, 2008, p. 4.

[51] “Gaza City,” and “Welcome to Najd, District of Gaza,” accessed 1/6/09.

[52] Tomer Zarchin and Haaretz Service, “Abbas: Israel must free all 11,000 Palestinian prisoners,” Haaretz, Dec. 15, 2008.

[53] B’Tselem, “Statistics on Administrative Detention,” accessed 1/7/09.

[54] See Josh Brannon, “IDF commandos enter Gaza capture two Hamas terrorists. More calls for sustained ground offensive as Kassams continue,” Jerusalem Post, June 25, 2006, p. 1. Israel claimed that the two were terrorists. In fact, Israel later claimed the pair was involved in the planning of the Shalit operation, to which, it said, Mustafa Muammar confessed under torture (which, having taken place after Shalit was captured, violated even Israel’s generous “ticking time bomb” allowance for torture). See Amos Harel, “The 24 hours that could have saved Gilad Shalit,” Haaretz, Oct. 12, 2008 (“Only on Sunday — after the abduction had already occurred, and after the Shin Bet had applied ‘exceptional interrogation methods’ — did he break down and reveal the critical details.”).

[55] B’Tselem, Prime Minister Olmert, is every Palestinian in the Gaza Strip a terrorist on the death list?” Dec. 7, 2006. B’Tselem, noting that Prime Minister Olmert referred to all the dead Palestinians as terrorists, points out that, “The prime minister’s comments indicate that Israel now relates to every Palestinian in the Gaza Strip as a terrorist, and as such is sentenced to death.”

[56] General Assembly doc. A/61/470, Sept. 27, 2006.

[57] David Rose, “The Gaza Bombshell,” Vanity Fair, April 2008.

[58] For background on Hezbollah, see Gilbert Achcar with Michel Warschawski, The 33-Day War: Israel’s War on Hezbollah in Lebanon and Its Consequences, Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2007, pp. 17-31.

[59] See generally, William O. Beeman, “Hamas is Not Iran’s Puppet,” New American Media, Dec. 31, 2008.

[60] AP, “Details of Israel-Hamas Truce,” June 17, 2008. See also the report of the Israeli-government linked think tank ITIC:
“From what can be gleaned from Palestinian, Egyptian and Israeli media reports, the lull will be implemented in three stages:
“i) Stage One: Three days after the lull goes into effect, Israel will open the Karni and Sufa crossings and allow the passage of basic commodities from Israel into the Gaza Strip.
“ii) Stage Two: One week later Israel will permit the passage of most commodities into the Gaza Strip with the exception of those used in the manufacture of weapons.
“iii) Stage Three: One week after that talks will be held about opening the Rafah crossing.”
(ITIC, “The arrangement for a lull in the fighting” [Updated to 6 p.m., June 18, 2008], paragraph 3.)

[61] ITIC, “Intensive rocket fire attacks against western Negev population centers and the Ashqelon region after Hamas announces the end of the lull arrangement,” Dec. 21, 2008, p. 2 (“At 0600 hours on the morning of December 19 the lull arrangement ended, six months after it began, according to a unilateral announcement made by Hamas and the other Palestinian terrorist organizations. Israel’s position was that the lull was unlimited in time” [emphasis in original]).
[62] E.g., Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “One Month of Calm Along the Israel-Gaza Border,” July 27, 2008 (“The lull in the fighting is valid for six months and only in the Gaza Strip”); ITIC, “The arrangement for a lull in the fighting” (Updated to 6 p.m., June 18, 2008), paragraph 2 (“The lull, which was formulated by Egypt , will be in effect in the Gaza Strip for a period of six months, at the end of which it is likely to be extended to Judea and Samaria.”); Ethan Bronner, “Israel in the Season of Dread,” New York Times, June 22, 2008 (“a six-month cease-fire”); Ilene R. Prusher, “Hamas, Israel truce greeted with skepticism and hope,” Christian Science Monitor, June 19, 2008 (“The truce, intended to last six months”).

[63] ITIC, “The arrangement for a lull in the fighting” (Updated to 6 p.m., June 18, 2008), paragraphs 7-8. Palestinian public opinion overwhelmingly was in favor of a ceasefire, but wanted it to include both the West Bank and Gaza, and to guarantee the opening of the Rafah crossing to Egypt. See Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, Survey Research Unit, Poll No. 28, June 5-7, 2008.

[64] ITIC, “The arrangement for a lull in the fighting” (Updated to 6 p.m., June 18, 2008), paragraph 11.

[65] According to Sa’id Siyam, the interior minister in the deposed Hamas government, “The need to stop bringing weapons to the Gaza Strip was one of the conditions placed by the occupation [i.e. Israel] for reaching the agreement on a calming period. We rejected this demand completely. Weapons were smuggled even when the Israeli occupation was in control of the border strip between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. We are in a state of war, and we have the right to defend ourselves.” (“Hamas minister views truce agreement, prisoner exchange with Israel,” text of report by privately-owned, pro-Fatah Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Quds on June 22, 2008, BBC Monitoring Middle East – Political, June 24, 2008 [Lexis Nexis].)

[66] ITIC, “The arrangement for a lull in the fighting” (Updated to 6 p.m., June 18, 2008), paragraphs 13-14.

[67] Avi Issacharoff and The Associated Press, “Gaza truce shaken as four Qassams slam into west Negev,”Haaretz, June 24, 2006. A Hamas militant was also killed on the West Bank, but Hamas’s military wing responded on the West Bank, attacking some settlers. See BBC Monitoring Middle East – Political, “Hamas claims post-truce drive-by attack on Israeli settlers,” June 24, 2008 (Lexis Nexis).

[68] ITIC, “Summary of rocket fire and mortar shelling in 2008,” Jan. 1, 2009, p. 7. The source gives three contradictory sets of statistics for July-October (cf. pp. 6, 8), but these are the most consistent figures. Three of these rockets and five of the mortar shells landed within Gaza.

[69] See the listing of Israeli casualties at Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Victims of Palestinian Violence and Terrorism since September 2000,” accessed 1/9/09.

[70] ITIC, Six Months of the Lull Arrangement, Dec. 2008, p. 7.

[71] OCHA, “Humanitarian Monitor,” No. 27, July 2008, p. 4.

[72] OCHA, “Humanitarian Monitor,” No. 31, Nov. 2008, p. 4.

[73] Cited in Human Rights Watch, “Deprived and Endangered: Humanitarian Crisis in the Gaza Strip,” Jan. 13, 2009.

[74]Source: OCHA, “Humanitarian Monitor,” no. 24, Apr. 2008 (for March and April); no. 26, June 2008 (for May and June 2008); no. 28, Aug. 2008 (for July and August); no. 30, Oct. 2008 (for September and October); and no. 31, Nov. 2008 (for December 2005, May 2007, and November 2008).

[75] Rory McCarthy, “Gaza truce broken as Israeli raid kills six Hamas gunmen,” Guardian, Nov. 5, 2008.

[76] OCHA, “Humanitarian Monitor,” no. 31, Nov. 2008, p. 4.

[77] OCHA, “Humanitarian Monitor,” no. 31, Nov. 2008, p. 8.

[78] Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Victims of Palestinian Violence and Terrorism since September 2000,”accessed 1/11/09. In fact the last Israeli deaths from Gaza before December 27, 2008, occurred before the lull began on June 5, 2008.

[79] Data from OCHA, Protection of Civilian Weekly Reportno. 285, Nov. 5-Nov. 11; no. 286, Nov. 12-18; no. 287, Nov. 19-25; no. 288, Nov. 26-Dec. 2; no. 289, Dec. 3-16; no. 290, Dec. 17-23. The uncertainties are because the sources don’t always distinguish whether injured are combatants or civilians, and because the last item doesn’t make clear whether the casualties were before or after the expiration of the ceasefire. This tally excludes the casualties from the Nov. 4 operation and its aftermath (that continued into Nov. 5): 6 Palestinian militants killed, 5 injured, 2 Palestinian civilians injured, and 4 Israeli soldiers injured (in Gaza). I have excluded the Palestinian civilian injured by a Palestinian-fired rocket and Palestinian deaths that occurred due to tunnel collapses (most of what was smuggled in through the tunnels to Egypt was food and other necessities; these tunnels were extremely precarious and often collapsing, causing deaths), denial of medical service, and the health consequences of the blockade. (According to the UN, up to 30 percent of Gazans have micro-nutrient deficiencies, and 61 percent of Palestinian children and 26 percent of pregnant Palestinian women suffer from anemia. See Human Rights Watch, “Deprived and Endangered: Humanitarian Crisis in the Gaza Strip,” Jan. 13, 2009, footnote 2.)
[80] Jimmy Carter, “The Unnecessary War,” Washington Post, Jan. 8, 2009, p. A15.

[81] ITIC, “Escalation in the Gaza Strip,” Nov. 5, 2008, p. 2n1.

[82] See the quotes collected by ITIC:
“In the early afternoon of December 17, Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Ubeida said that ‘…we cannot extend the lull while the Palestinian people are under siege.’…
“Ziyad al-Nahleh, deputy PIJ secretary in Damascus, said there was no real justification for continuing the lull arrangement, and that as long as the Gaza Strip crossings remained closed and Israel did not meet its commitments, the Palestinian organizations would reserve the right to find other ways of breaking the siege as part of the ‘resistance’…
“Palestinian organizations in Gaza agreed that ‘the lull will not be renewed unless the terms are improved. Renewing it with the current terms is unacceptable.’ One source added that the most important condition would be the opening of the Gaza Strip crossings into Israel and the Rafah crossing, and the receipt of assurances that Israel would not close the crossings as it had during the current lull….”

[83] Jimmy Carter, “The Unnecessary War,” Washington Post, Jan. 8, 2009, p. A15.

[84] Converting monthly to daily figures is not so simple because sometimes daily figures are the monthly figures divided by the number of days the crossings were potentially open — that is, excluding the Sabbath and holidays. But in any event, Carter refers to the first period of the lull reaching only 20 percent of the normal level, so 15 percent would be lower than even the highest month of the lull.

[86] ICG, Dealing With Hamas, p. 56.

[88] See, in addition to the sources cited in note 30 above, Robert Plotkin, “Hamas would accept Saudi peace plan, spokesman says,” San Francisco Chronicle, Apr. 28, 2002.

[89] Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, Survey Research Unit, “Joint Israeli Palestinian Poll, September 2008,” Palestinian – Israeli Joint Press Release, Sept. 8, 2008.
[90] It is true that Hamas’s weaponry has been constantly improving. But note that though they had longer range rockets in their arsenal, they did not use these until after Israel began Operation Cast Lead.

[91] Reuters, “Israel warns Hezbollah war would invite destruction,” Oct. 3, 2008; Gabriel Siboni,Disproportionate Force: Israel’s Concept of Response in Light of the Second Lebanon War,” INSS Insight No. 74, Oct. 2, 2008 (“With an outbreak of hostilities, the IDF will need to act immediately, decisively, and with force that is disproportionate to the enemy’s actions and the threat it poses. Such a response aims at inflicting damage and meting out punishment to an extent that will demand long and expensive reconstruction processes. The strike must be carried out as quickly as possible, and must prioritize damaging assets over seeking out each and every launcher.”) During the 2006 Lebanon war, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations responded to charges that Israel was using disproportionate force, saying “You’re damn right we are.” (Steven Erlanger, “With Israeli Use of Force, Debate Over Proportion,” New York Times, July 19, 2006.) See also Ben White, “Israel: Wedded to War?Guardian, Oct. 7, 2008.

[92]Human Rights Watch, “Q & A on Hostilities between Israel and Hamas,” Dec. 31, 2008.

[93] JDS from North Carolina, blog entry on the New York Times website, Jan. 8, 2009, accessed 1/12/09. I was led to this source by Juan Cole’s invaluable Informed Comment blog.

[94] Amnesty International, “Gaza civilians endangered by the military tactics of both sides,” Jan. 8, 2009.

[95] ITIC, “Operation Cast Lead, Update No. 10,” Jan. 8, 2009.

[97] Amnesty International, “End unlawful attacks and meet Gaza’s emergency needs,” Dec. 29, 2008. See also OCHA, “Gaza Humanitarian Situation Report,” Jan. 2, 2009, (“Additional people received similar warnings that did not materialize, thus leaving families in a state of panic and uncertainty.”); and OCHA, “Protection of Civilians Weekly Report,” no. 291, Dec. 25-Dec. 31, 2008, p. 1 (“Telephone calls from IDF personnel, or leaflets dropped by airplanes to people throughout Gaza ordering evacuation from their homes prior to bombings were widely reported. While in some cases homes were bombed immediately after the calls were made, others were not. Nevertheless, given the high population density in Gaza and the close proximity between homes, this has caused considerable panic and uncertainty among those receiving phone calls, as well as neighboring houses. People have been evacuating their homes and staying in streets for long hours exposed to further danger, or staying with relatives.”).

[98] Taghreed El-Khodary and Isabel Kershner, “Warnings Not Enough for Gaza Families,” New York Times, Jan. 6, 2009, p. A10.

[99] This point is made by Adi Ophir, “Reflections on Gaza from Tel Aviv,” ZNet, Jan. 12, 2009.

[100] Human Rights Watch, “Israel/Hamas: Civilians Must Not Be Targets; Disregard for Civilians Underlies Current Escalation,” Dec. 30, 2008 (“Under the laws of war, police and police stations are presumptively civilian unless the police are Hamas fighters or taking a direct part in the hostilities, or police stations are being used for military purposes.”); Human Rights Watch, “Q & A on Hostilities between Israel and Hamas,” Dec. 31, 2008 (“Under international humanitarian law, police are presumed to be civilian – and thus immune from attack – unless formally incorporated into the armed forces of a party to a conflict or directly participating in the hostilities. Thus, police only engaged in ordinary police roles, such as regulating traffic or ordinary law enforcement, would not be subject to lawful attack, while those who are Hamas fighters can be targeted. Police who engage in both ordinary law enforcement and at times in fighting would, like other civilians, be subject to attack whenever and for such time as they were actively participating in the hostilities.”); Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, On the Bloodiest Day in the History of Occupation, Hundreds of Palestinian Civilian Deaths and Casualties in an Israeli Aerial Offensive against the Gaza Strip,” Dec. 27, 2008 (“police stations, police officers and law enforcement officials are classified under the international law as civilians, and targeting them as such while they were not engaged in military action constitutes a violation of the international law.”)

[103] Tova Dadon, “Deputy chief of staff: Worst still ahead,” Ynet, Dec. 29, 2008.

[104] Ethan Bronner, “Israel Rejects Cease-Fire, but Offers Gaza Aid,” Jan. 1, 2009.

[106] Steven Erlanger and Michael Slackman, “Israel Says Hamas Is Damaged, Not Destroyed,” New York Times, Jan. 13, 2009.

[107] ITIC, “Operation Cast Lead – Update No. 8,” Jan. 6, 2009.

[108] ITIC, “Operation Cast Lead – Update No. 9,” Jan. 8, 2009.

[109] See UN, Dept. of Public Information, “Press Conference on Situation in Gaza,” Dec. 29, 2008:
“Responding to numerous questions about why only women and children were counted as civilian casualties, Mr. [John] Holmes [Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator] said the UNRWA figure of civilian casualties had been given to avoid accusations of exaggeration or unclearness about civilians, or others who might be Hamas militants. It was meant to give a credible, minimum figure. He knew that there were civilian men who had been killed, including one UNRWA staff. It was not meant to be ‘super considerate’ of Israel, as one correspondent suggested. There were civilians killed who were men, but women and children were the only ones one could reasonably be sure were civilians. The given number was not based on a methodology, he said. Neither did he mean to say that all men killed were Hamas.
“Ms. [Karen] AbuZayd [Commissioner-General of UNRWA] confirmed that the account was correct. The Emergency Coordinator based in Jerusalem had come up with the tally, and she had questioned it immediately. The director of her office, a lawyer, immediately had said that the numbers should not be used, because they were not legitimate and made no sense. She agreed with that, saying that the numbers had to be looked at again. Her emergency food distributor, who had been killed, was a civilian and a man.”

[110] OCHA, “Field Update on Gaza from the Humanitarian Coordinator,” Jan. 14, 2009, 1700 hours, p. 1.

[112] OCHA, “Field Update on Gaza from the Humanitarian Coordinator,” Jan. 14, 2009, 1700 hours, p. 1.

[113] Human Rights Watch, “Deprived and Endangered: Humanitarian Crisis in the Gaza Strip,” Jan. 13, 2009. See also International Committee of the Red Cross, “Gaza: wounded people dying while waiting for ambulances,” Jan. 5, 2009.
[114] Human Rights Watch, “Deprived and Endangered: Humanitarian Crisis in the Gaza Strip,” Jan. 13, 2009.

[115] See Joel Simon, Executive Director, Committee to Protect Journalists, “CPJ urges Israel to open Gaza to international reporters” (letter to Ehud Barak), Jan. 6, 2009,.

[116] Foreign Press Association of Israel, Statements 2009 (Jan. 7: “The FPA strongly protests the Israeli government’s decision to continue the ban on international journalists entering Gaza despite the Supreme Court ruling requiring it to allow access.”). See also Human Rights Watch, “Israel/OPT: Immediate access to humanitarian workers and observers essential,” Dec. 31, 2008Rory McCarthy, “Foreign journalists demand Gaza access,” Guardian, Dec. 30, 2008; Toni O’Loughlin, “Israel ordered to let international media into GazaDec. 31, 2008. ,” Guardian,

[117] Ethan Bronner, “Israel Puts Media Clamp on Gaza,” New York Times, Jan. 7, 2009.

[118] Ethan Bronner, “Israel Puts Media Clamp on Gaza,” New York Times, Jan. 7, 2009.

[119] The Israel Project, “Fiction vs. Fact: Israel and the Situation in Gaza: 6 Common Fabrications.” The Israel Project’s Board of Advisors consists of 22 members of the U.S. Congress (from both parties) and actor Ron Silver. See here, accessed 1/13/09.

[120] UNRWA, “UNRWA suspends food distribution in Gaza,” Press Release
Dec. 18, 2008

[122] OCHA, “Gaza Humanitarian Situation Report,” Dec. 28, 2008.

[123] OCHA, “Gaza Humanitarian Situation Report,” Jan. 3, 2009.

Haaretz, Jan. 1, 2009.

[126] Yossi Verter, “Poll shows most Israelis back IDF action in Gaza,” Haaretz, Jan. 15, 2009.

[127] See, Gush Shalom, “Mass Demonstration Against the War and Continuing Protest,” accessed Jan. 14, 2009, and video.

[128] Daniel Edelson, “Sderot, Gaza residents call for renewal of truce,” Ynet, Dec. 29, 2008.
[129] Shahar Ilan and Roni Singer-Heruti, “Israel bans Arab parties from running in upcoming elections,” Haaretz, Jan. 13, 2009.

[130] Congressional Research Service, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel,Updated January 2, 2008, Summary.

[131] Congressional Research Service, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel,Updated January 2, 2008, Summary.

[132] Congressional Research Service, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel,Updated January 2, 2008, p. 1.

[133] Phyllis Bennis, “Gaza Crisis: Israeli Violations & U.S. Complicity,” Dec. 28, 2008.

[134] See Global Policy Forum, “Subjects of UN Security Council Vetoes,” accessed 1/14/09.

[136] Barak Ravid and Shlomo Shamir, “Israel rejects UN truce resolution, says Gaza operation to continue,”Haaretz, Jan. 10, 2009. Hamas later rejected the ceasefire as well.
[137] Rasmussen Reports, “Americans Closely Divided Over Israel’s Gaza Attacks,” Dec. 31, 2008; Rasmussen Reports, “Voters Still Say Palestinians to Blame, But 50% Say Israel Should Accept Truce,” Jan. 12, 2009; Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, “No Desire for Greater U.S. Role in Resolving Conflict; Modest Backing For Israel In Gaza Crisis,” Jan. 13, 2009.

[138] See here.