Gaza Quiz


An uneasy cease-fire has been declared ending Israel's attack on Gaza, Operation Pillar of Defense. Take this quiz to see how much you know about the situation.

  1. How did the people of Gaza come to be where they are?
    1. A majority of them are descendants of refugees who in 1948-1949 fled or were driven out by Israeli forces from territory that was supposed to be part of the Arab state of Palestine but was taken over by Israel, and they were never permitted to return.
    2. Some of them are descendants of residents of the Arab town of Majdal, who, after the 1948-49 war were evacuated from different parts of the town and concentrated in a neighborhood surrounded by barbed wire (to make way for Jewish settlers) and then expelled to Gaza.
    3. Gaza was conquered by Israel in October 1956 and subjected to massacres; Israel withdrew under international pressure in March 1957.
    4. Gazans came under Israeli occupation in 1967 when Israel—in a war in which, in the words of Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1982, "we had a choice … We decided to attack [Egypt]"—conquered the Sinai (since returned to Egypt), Gaza, East Jerusalem (annexed), the West Bank, and the Golan Heights (annexed).
    5. All of the above.


  2. In 2005, Israel under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon "disengaged" from Gaza. Which of the following statements about the disengagement is true?
    1. Israel's Gaza "disengagement" was a unilateral move, not worked out with any Palestinian leaders at all.
    2. Israeli settlers were removed from Gaza, but more new settlers moved to the West Bank in 2005 than left Gaza and more Palestinian land was taken over on the West Bank than was given up in Gaza.
    3. Ariel Sharon's chief aide, Dov Weisglass, told an interviewer for an Israeli newspaper: The significance of the disengagement plan "is the freezing of the political process. And when you freeze that process you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state and you prevent a discussion about the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package that is called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed from our agenda indefinitely."
    4. All of the above.


  3. Israel says that its occupation of Gaza ended in 2005. Which of the following conditions that exist to this day raises a question about whether there has actually been an end to Israeli control of Gaza?
    1. Israel prohibits Gaza from engaging in air commerce with or air travel to or from other nations.
    2. Israel prohibits Gaza from engaging in sea commerce with or sea travel to or from other nations.
    3. Israel prohibits Gazans engaged in fishing from going more than 3 nautical miles off shore, denying them access to 85% of their fishing waters.
    4. Israel has declared a formal no-go zone for Palestinians inside Gaza covering more than 3 percent of the total land area and another 14 percent within which entry is effectively restricted due to a real risk of gunfire, excluding from Palestinian use 35% of the land suitable for farming.
    5. The Israeli army carries out incursions into this zone a number of times a week.
    6. All of the above.


  4. Which of the following reflects the Israeli attitude toward Gaza and its people?
    1. The statement in a 1956 Knesset speech by Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion: "If I believed in miracles, I would pray that Gaza would be washed down into the sea."
    2. The statement by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1993: "If only it [Gaza] would just sink into the Sea."
    3. The fact that in Israeli slang, "go to Gaza" means "go to hell."
    4. All of the above.


  5. The Palestinian organization Hamas rules within Gaza. Which of the following is true regarding Hamas?
    1. A descendant of the Muslim Brotherhood, it was promoted in its early years by Israel and the United States, which were eager to establish a counterweight to the then-dominant secular Palestinian organization Fatah.
    2. It won a plurality in the Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006.
    3. It took over Gaza in 2007 after Fatah, working with Israel and the United States, launched a failed coup against it.
    4. All of the above.


  6. Hamas refuses to accept the three Israeli-U.S. conditions: that it recognize Israel, renounce violence, and agree to accept all agreements previously accepted by the Palestinian Authority. Which of the following is true?
    1. Israel and the United States have refused to recognize an independent Palestinian state, with Washington even blocking UN recognition of nominal Palestinian statehood.
    2. Neither Washington nor Tel Aviv has renounced violence (to say the least).
    3. Nonviolent protest against the Israeli occupation has been brutally repressed.
    4. Israel "previously accepted" the Fourth Geneva Convention, but when the World Court found Israel's construction of the Wall on the occupied West Bank to be in violation of that convention, Israel refused to remove it and the United States supported its refusal.
    5. Israel signed the Oslo Accords which state that "The two sides view the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a single territorial unit, whose integrity will be preserved during the interim period" and yet has pursued a policy of trying to separate Gaza from the West Bank.
    6. Hamas has indicated on numerous occasions that it was willing to accept an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, along with a truce that could last 20, 30, or 50 years, or even indefinitely.
    7. All of the above.


  7. Israel says it can't trust Hamas to maintain cease-fires. Which of the following is part of the historical record?
    1. A study found that from 2000 to 2008, it was "overwhelmingly Israel that kills first after a pause in the conflict" and that this pattern "becomes more pronounced for longer conflict pauses," with Israel unilaterally having interrupted 96% of the periods of nonviolence that lasted longer than a week and 100% of the periods of nonviolence lasting longer than 9 days.
    2. In 1997, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal made an offer to Israel through King Hussein of Jordan for a thirty-year cease-fire. Israel ignored the offer and then tried to assassinate Meshal in Amman.
    3. Following its 2006 electoral victory in Gaza, Hamas secretly conveyed a message to the Israeli government that it "would pledge not to carry out any violent actions against Israel and would even prevent other Palestinian organizations from doing so," if Israel stopped its undercover assassination program and ended its military attacks in Gaza and the West Bank. Israel did not reply.
    4. In June 2008 a six-month truce was arranged between Israel and Hamas, and broken by Israel on the night of Nov. 4-5, 2008.
    5. All of the above.


  8. Israel claims that its blockade of Gaza is simply a means of keeping out weapons from the territory. Which of the following is true?
    1. The blockade has always included a ban on almost all exports from Gaza, crippling the economy, while having no connection to weapons imports.
    2. Dov Weisglass, an adviser to former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, explained that "The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger."
    3. The Israeli Ministry of Defense did a study in 2008 of the minimum daily humanitarian food needs of Gaza and then, until June 2010, Israel proceeded to allow in less than that amount.
    4. Among the items Israel prohibited being imported into Gaza before June 2010 were notebooks, cilantro, sage, jam, chocolate, French fries, dried fruit, fabrics, and toys.
    5. Even though food is now allowed into Gaza, Israel still restricts exports, imports of basic construction materials, despite a shortage of approximately 250 schools and some 71,000 housing units, and restricts travel between Gaza and the West Bank.
    6. All of the above.


  9. Which of the following describes conditions in Gaza on the eve of Operation Pillar of Defense?
    1. The people of Gaza have lower per capita incomes than they did in the 1990s, despite improvements over the past three years.
    2. The unemployment rate in 2011 was 29% and during the first quarter of 2012 unemployment stood at 47% for women and 58% for people between 20 and 24 years old.
    3. 44% of households were food insecure in 2011 and another 16% were vulnerable to food insecurity.
    4. 10% of children suffer from stunting (long-term exposure to chronic malnutrition).
    5. 39% of people lived below the poverty line.
    6. Currently, more than 90% of the water supplied through Gaza's aquifer does not meet the safety standards of the World Health Organization and is unfit for drinking.
    7. All of the above.


  10. Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense on November 14, 2012, claiming it needed to respond to an unrelenting barrage of rockets from Hamas. Which of the following is an accurate statement of the lead-up to November 14?
    1. From October 30, 2012, until Nov. 10, 2012, there were a total of 4 rockets fired from Gaza, which fell in open areas causing no casualties or damage.
    2. On November 4, Israeli forces shot and killed a 23 year-old mentally-challenged Palestinian walking approximately ten meters from the fence on the Gaza side. The Israeli military did not allow a Palestinian ambulance to retrieve the body for two hours.
    3. On Nov. 8, Israeli troops operating within Gaza were fired on by Palestinians; Israeli fire killed a Palestinian boy.
    4. On Nov. 10, Palestinian armed factions fired on an Israeli military vehicle patrolling on the Israeli side of the fence, injuring four soldiers. Israel responded by firing tank shells hitting a residential area, killing 5 civilians, including 2 children, and injuring 36 civilians, including 9 children.
    5. Palestinian rocket attacks began on Nov. 10, after more than a week of relative quiet.
    6. All of the above.


  11. What happened on November 13, the day before the Israeli targeted assassination of Ahmed al-Jabari, Hamas' military chief?
    1. Palestinian rocket fire decreased from 64 on Nov. 11, to 35 on Nov. 12, to 1 on the morning of Nov. 13.
    2. Palestinian rocket fire ended, but then, in the words of the Israeli government, "Following the launch of Israel's operation Pillar of Defense … rocket fire from Gaza resumed on Wednesday evening (14 Nov)…"
    3. Reuters reported that "After five days of mounting violence, Israel and the Palestinians stepped back from the brink of a new war in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, [Nov. 13,] sending signals to each other via Egypt that they would hold their fire unless attacked. … Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of Gaza's Hamas government, praised the main armed factions in the enclave for agreeing on Monday night to a truce. 'They showed a high sense of responsibility by saying they would respect calm should the Israeli occupation also abide by it,' he said."
    4. A draft proposal for a long-term cease-fire, with mechanisms to ensure compliance, had been agreed to by an Israeli negotiator and Hamas's deputy foreign minister, and was being submitted to Ahmed al-Jabari and Israeli security officials for their consideration. Jabari, who had authorized the negotiations, received a copy of the proposal the day he was assassinated.
    5. All of the above.


  12. Israel (and the United States) claim that the Israeli attack on Gaza was a lawful act of self-defense. Which of the following statements about self-defense conform to international law and morality?
    1. Military force in self-defense must be a last resort, having exhausted non-military means (such as accepting a cease-fire, negotiating a long-term cease-fire, and, most decisively, ending the occupation of Palestinian territory).
    2. Self-defense is not permissible against someone legitimately resisting illegal occupation (and so, for example, Japanese troops in China from 1937-45 had no right of self-defense against attacks from Chinese forces).
    3. Even when self-defense is permitted, the measures taken must not disproportionately endanger civilians.
    4. All of the above.


  13. If a cease-fire was possible without Operation Pillar of Defense, which of the following is a plausible explanation for why Israel launched its attack?
    1. Because Israel always wants to maintain its deterrent power, meaning that fear of its massive military response will keep subject people in line.
    2. Because an election is coming soon in Israel and wars and Palestinian rockets tend to help politicians' electoral prospects.
    3. To test out the Iron Dome system and send a message to Iran.
    4. Because Pillar of Defense weakened Mahmud Abbas's Palestinian Authority, while strengthening Hamas, which serves the Israeli interest in being able to insist there is no partner for peace.
    5. All of the above.


  14. Which of the following statements was made by an Israeli official or personality?
    1. Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai: "We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages, destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water."
    2. Israel Katz, Israel's transport minister and member of Netanyahu's Likud party, on 11 November: "we must detach from Gaza in a civilian manner—electricity, water, food, and fuel—and transition into a policy of deterrence, just like in Southern Lebanon."
    3. Avi Dichter, Israel's Minister of Home Front Defense: "there is no other choice, Israel must carry out a formatting action in Gaza, actually format the system and clean it out, the way we did in Judea & Samaria during Operation Defensive Shield."
    4. Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari of the National Union party: "Brothers! Beloved soldiers and commanders—preserve your lives! Don't give a hoot about Goldstone! There are no innocents in Gaza, don't let any diplomats who want to look good in the world endanger your lives[;] at any tiniest concern for your lives—Mow them!"
    5. Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, son of Israel's former Chief Rabbi and spiritual leader of the Shas party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: "The army has got to learn from the Syrians how to slaughter and crush the enemy."
    6. Gilad Sharon, the son of former prime minister Ariel Sharon, in the Jerusalem Post: "The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren't hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences….We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn't stop with Hiroshima—the Japanese weren't surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too."
    7. All of the above.


  15. Which of the following is a UN statistic regarding the casualties of Operation Pillar of Defense?
    1. More than twenty-five Palestinian civilians were killed for every Israeli civilian killed (103:4).
    2. More than twenty-five Palestinian combatants were killed for every Israeli combatant killed (55:2).
    3. Israel, with its arsenal of highly advanced "smart" weaponry, fired without being under pressure, killed as high a percentage of civilians among all those it killed (65%) as did Hamas (67%), with its inaccurate rockets fired under great pressure.
    4. All of the above.


  16. Which of the following is true regarding U.S. military aid to Israel?
    1. Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance in the world since 1945, having received $115 billion in bilateral assistance, about two-thirds of which has been military aid and which in recent years has been almost entirely military aid.
    2. U.S. military aid to Israel has helped transform Israel's armed forces into one of the most technologically sophisticated militaries in the world and has helped Israel build a domestic arms industry that ranks as one of the top 10 arm exporters.
    3. One of the main Israeli weapons used to attack Gaza have been F-16 aircraft, provided by the United States. From 2000 to 2009, the United States paid for and delivered at least 93 F-16D fighter jets, valued at $2.48 billion, and licensed and paid for at least 13,559 spare parts and co-production parts for Israel's arsenal of F-16s.
    4. All of the above.


  17. In which other way has the United States aided Israel in its assault on Gaza?
    1. The Obama administration blocked a United Nations Security Council statement calling for a cease-fire on November 20, 2012 to end Operation Pillar of Defense.
    2. President Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu "no country can be expected to tolerate rocket attacks against civilians," but failed to note that no people should have to live under occupation, with bombs and shells falling on them, killing far greater numbers of innocent civilians.
    3. The United States has blocked efforts to hold Israel responsible for its previous assault on Gaza, by rejecting the Goldstone Commission Report.
    4. President Obama declared that Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with Hamas.
    5. The United States has defended Israel's right to stop humanitarian aid ships bound for Gaza.
    6. The Obama administration, by its use of targeted drone killings, has normalized the practice that Israel now uses to such murderous effect.
    7. The United States has over many years blocked efforts to move in the direction of a long-term solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, among many other acts vetoing a Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories.
    8. All of the above.


  18. Which of the following is a way to put pressure on the Israeli government to end its occupation of Palestine, and on the United States government and corporations which support that occupation?
    1. Support the work of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation to cut off U.S. military aid to Israel.
    2. Support the work of Jewish Voice for Peace and its "We Divest" campaign to pressure TIAA/CREF to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation.
    3. Support the work of Code Pink and its Stolen Beauty campaign to boycott beauty products made in the occupied territories.
    4. Support other campaigns that aim to achieve justice for Palestinians.
    5. All of the above.


Answers and Sources

  1. e) All of the above.
    1. Report of the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, Assistance To Palestine Refugees, A/1905, Sept. 28, 1951, paragraph 10; Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp. 462-73, 517-18.
    2. Arnon Golan, "Jewish Settlement of Former Arab Towns and Their Incorporation into the Israeli Urban System (1948-50)," Israel Affairs, vol. 9, no. 1/2 (Autumn/Winter 2003), pp. 158, 161; Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, pp. 528-29.
    3. Amira Hass, "A thin black line," Haaretz, Feb. 11, 2010; Joe Sacco, Footnotes in Gaza, New York: Metropolitan Books, 2009.
    4. "Excerpts from Begin Speech at National Defense College," New York Times, Aug. 21, 1982.
  2. d) All of the above.
    1. 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.
    2. Avi Shavit, "The big freeze," Haaretz, Oct. 8, 2004.
  3. f) All of the above.
    1. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Gaza access closure map; OCHA, oPt, Gaza humanitarian situation.
    2. B'Tselem, "No-go zones near Gaza Strip perimeter fence," Jan. 1, 2011, updated Oct. 14, 2012. See also Diakonia IHL Programme, "Within Range: An Analysis of the Legality of the Land 'Buffer Zone' in the Gaza Strip," Legal Analysis Report 1, 2011; Al-Haq, Shifting Paradigms: Israel's Enforcement of the Buffer Zone in the Gaza Strip, 2011.
    3. OCHA, oPt, and World Food Program, Between the Fence and a Hard Place: The Humanitarian Impact of Israeli-Imposed Restrictions on Access to Land and Sea in the Gaza Strip, Special Focus, Aug. 2010. See also Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, "Factsheet: Displacement in the 'Buffer Zone' Three Years after Operation Cast Lead.," [2011?].
  4. d) All of the above.
    1. Orna Almog, Britain, Israel and the United States, 1955-1958: Beyond Suez (London: Frank Cass Publishers, 2003), p. 114, quoted in Dan Freeman-Maloy, "For Israel Imperialism Isn't Enough," Znet, Nov. 16, 2012.
    2. Amira Hass, Drinking the Sea at Gaza, Days and Nights in a Land under Siege, New York: Owl Books, 1999, p. 9.
    3. Hass, Drinking the Sea at Gaza, p. 9.
  5. d) All of the above.
    1. See Stephen Zunes, "America's Hidden Role in Hamas's Rise to Power," ZNet, Jan. 5, 2009.
    2. National Democratic Institute, Final Report on the Palestinian Legislative Council Elections, January 25, 2006(Washington, DC: 2006).
    3. David Rose, "The Gaza Bombshell," Vanity Fair, April 2008.
  6. g) All of the above.
    1. Helene Cooper, "Obama Says Palestinians Are Using Wrong Forum," New York Times, Sept. 21, 2011, (print edition, Sept. 22, p. A12). The Obama administration opposes even Palestinian efforts to be recognized as a non-member, observer state of the UN. Noah Browning and Matt Spetalnick, "Abbas tells Obama he'll seek Palestinian UN upgrade, defying U.S.," Reuters, Nov. 11, 2012.
    2. See, among many examples, Natalie Tabar, "Repression of Non-Violent Protest in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Case Study on the village of al-Nabi Saleh," al-Haq, Dec. 10, 2011; Human Rights Watch, "Israel: End Crackdown on Anti-Wall Activists," March 5, 2010; Yousef Munayyer, "Palestine's Hidden History of Nonviolence," May 18, 2011.
    3. International Court of Justice, Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Advisory Opinion, July 9, 2004; UN News Centre, "UN Assembly votes overwhelmingly to demand Israel comply with ICJ ruling," July 20, 2004.
    4. Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, Sept. 13, 1993, Article IV.
    5. See, for example, Ismail Haniya, "A just peace or no peace," Guardian, Mar. 31, 2006; Danny Rubinstein, "Haniya tells Haaretz: 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; Khalid Mish'al interviewed by Ibrahim Humaydi, Damascus, Oct. 10, 2006, published in al-Hayat, Oct. 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; Ahmed Yousef, "What Hamas Wants," New York Times, Nov. 1, 2006; 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; Sharmine Narwani, "Khaled Meshaal Interview: Hamas Chief Weighs In on Eve of Peace Talks," Huffington Post, Aug. 31, 2010; Ethan Bronner, "Hamas Leader Calls for Two-State Solution, but Refuses to Renounce Violence," New York Times, May 5, 2011; Eyder Peralta, "Hamas Foreign Minister: We Accept Two-State Solution With '67 Borders," National Public Radio, May 17, 2011; Christiane Amanpour, "Israel-Hamas Cease Fire; Interview with Hamas Political Leader Khaled Meshaal," CNN, aired Nov. 21, 2012. For discussion, see Jerome Slater, "Just War Moral Philosophy and the 2008–09 Israeli Campaign in Gaza," International Security, vol. 37, no. 2 (Fall 2012), pp. 62-65.
  7. e) All of the above.
    1. Nancy Kanwisher, Johannes Haushofer, & Anat Biletzki, "Reigniting Violence: How Do Ceasefires End?" Huffington Post, Jan. 6, 2009. See also Institute for Middle East Understanding, "Factsheets: Self-defense or provocation: Israel's history of breaking ceasefires," Mar. 15, 2012 (and updated).
    2. Slater, "Just War Moral Philosophy and the 2008–09 Israeli Campaign in Gaza," p. 58, citing Zeev Schiff, "Ex-Mossad Chief: Hamas Offered 30-Year Cease-fire in 1997," Haaretz, March 30, 2006.
    3. Slater, "Just War Moral Philosophy and the 2008–09 Israeli Campaign in Gaza," p. 59, citing Barak Ravid, "In 2006 Letter to Bush, Haniyeh Offered Compromise with Israel," Haaretz, Nov. 10, 2008.
    4. Rory McCarthy, "Gaza truce broken as Israeli raid kills six Hamas gunmen," Guardian, Nov. 5, 2008.
  8. f) All of the above.
    1. Gisha, Graphing 5 years of closure, June 2012, p. 3, figure 4.
    2. Quoted in Conal Urquhart, "Gaza on brink of implosion as aid cut-off starts to bite," The Observer, April 15, 2006. Weisglass denied saying this. . A secret U.S. cable published by Wikileaks revealed that, in late 2008, U.S. embassy officials in Israel told the State Department that "Israeli officials have confirmed that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge . . . functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis." Reuters, "WikiLeaks: Israel Aimed to Keep Gaza Economy on Brink of Collapse," Haaretz, Jan. 5, 2010, quoted in Slater, "Just War Moral Philosophy and the 2008–09 Israeli Campaign in Gaza," p. 53n32.
    3. Gisha, Reader: "Food Consumption in the Gaza Strip – Red Lines" , Oct. 2012, p. 8, table 1 (showing that almost continuously from summer 2007 to summer 2010, fewer truckloads of food and other basic humanitarian supplies entered Gaza than the 106 truckloads [daily, five days a week basis] calculated to be the minimum requirement. For a rough translation of the Ministry of Defense document, see the Jan. 1, 2007, and Jan. 27, 2008, versions of Ministry of Defense, Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, Food Consumption in the Red Lines—Gaza Strip. "The 'minimum basket' allows nutrition that is sufficient for subsistence without the development of malnutrition." (Jan. 1, 2008, presentation, slide 2). Imports through the tunnel system were substantial in 2009 and 2010.
    4. Amira Hass, "Why won't Israel allow Gazans to import coriander?" Haaretz, May 7, 2010.
    5. Gisha, "The Gaza Cheat Sheet," Oct. 15, 2012; A report by the United Nations Country Team in the occupied Palestinian territory, Gaza in 2020: A liveable place? Aug. 2012, p. 9. In Operation Cast Lead, Dec. 2008-Jan. 2009, 6,268 homes were destroyed or severely damaged (ibid., p. 4), as were another 298 houses in Operation Pillars of Defense (OCHA, oPt, Gaza and southern Israel Situation Report [as of 22 November 2012, 1500 hours]).
  9. g) All of the above.
    1. UN Country Team, Gaza in 2020: A liveable place? pp. 2, 4.
    2. Ibid., p. 4.
    3. Ibid., p. 4.
    4. Save the Children and Medical Aid for Palestinians, Gaza's Children: Falling Behind, 2012, p. 2.
    5. UN Country Team, Gaza in 2020: A liveable place? p. 6.
    6. Save the Children and Medical Aid for Palestinians, Gaza's Children: Falling Behind, p. 16.
  10. f) All of the above.
    1. See the compilation in Wikipedia, citing Israeli media. QassamCount lists 3 rockets. [Updated Nov. 30, 2012: This answer originally referred to 2 rockets based on Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, October 31 – November 6, 2012, p. 3, and ITIC, News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, November 7-13, 2012, p. 5.]
    2. OCHA, oPt, Protection of Civilians Weekly Report, 31 October – 6 November 2012, p. 3. Two days later, 3 Israeli soldiers were injured when an apparent IED exploded near their vehicle on the border; this was followed by an exchange of gunfire. Asher Zeiger, "3 soldiers injured by explosion on Gaza border," Israel Times, Nov. 6, 2012.
    3. Reuters, "Israeli gunfire kills Palestinian boy in Gaza clash: medics," Nov. 8, 2012; OCHA, oPt, Protection of Civilians Weekly Report, 7-13 Nov. 2012. The boy's age is variously given as 12 or 13. Amnesty International reported that it had gathered evidence suggesting that this attack was "indiscriminate and, therefore, in violation of international humanitarian law." Amnesty warned that "The Israeli military must not carry out further indiscriminate attacks, or attacks in densely-populated residential areas that will inevitably harm civilians." Amnesty International, "Israel/Gaza: All sides must step back from the brink to protect civilians," Press release, PRE01/561/2012, Nov. 14, 2012. Later that day, in the same area, an Israeli soldier was injured by a Palestinian mortar shell fired at Israeli forces patrolling along the perimeter fence.
    4. OCHA, oPt, Protection of Civilians Weekly Report, 7-13 Nov. 2012, pp. 3-4. For this attack too, Amnesty International reported gathering evidence suggesting it was indiscriminate. Amnesty International, "Israel/Gaza: All sides must step back from the brink to protect civilians," Press release, PRE01/561/2012, Nov. 14, 2012. See also B'Tselem, Illegally fired tank shells kill four civilians in the Gaza Strip, 10 November 2012, Nov. 21, 2012. Note that this single incident resulted in more Gazan civilian deaths than all the Israeli civilians killed by rocket and other fire from Gaza in the almost four years since Operation Cast Lead. See B'Tselem, Israeli civilians killed by Palestinians in Israel, 19.1.2009 – 30.9.2012," which lists 5 deaths, 3 of them from rockets and other fire from Gaza.
    5. ITIC, News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, November 7-13, 2012, p. 2. Most of the rocket attacks were fired by factions other than Hamas, and, according to an Israeli peace activist who served as a negotiator with Hamas for the release of Gilad Shalit, even when Hamas was drawn into firing rockets, its rockets always landed in open spaces, intentionally. Nir Hasson, "Israeli peace activist: Hamas leader Jabari killed amid talks on long-term truce," Haaretz, Nov. 15, 2012. [Updated Nov. 30, 2012: The word "relative" was added to clarify that the quiet was apart from the few rockets mentioned in question 10a.]
  11. e) All of the above.
    1. Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel Under Fire.
    2. Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel Under Fire.
    3. Reuters, "Israel, Gaza agree to hold fire after latest round of fighting," Nov. 13, 2012, 12:55 p.m. EST.
    4. Gershon Baskin, "Israel's Shortsighted Assassination," New York Times, Nov. 16, 2012. Baskin, the Israeli intermediary, had been the initiator and negotiator of the deal to exchange captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit for Palestinian prisoners.
  12. d) All of the above.
    1. In Just War moral theory, "last resort" is a condition of jus ad bellum. In international law, the same concept is captured in the notion of "necessity." See Yoram Dinstein, War, Aggression, and Self Defense, 4th ed., New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005, pp. 208-210.
    2. To quote one Nuremberg judge: "Under International Law, as in Domestic Law, there can be no reprisal against reprisal. The assassin who is being repulsed by his intended victim may not slay him and then, in turn, plead self defense." (Trial of Otto Ohlendorf and others, Military Tribunal II-A, April 8, 1948, cited in Michael Mandel, "Self-Defense Against Peace," Counterpunch, Feb. 05, 2009.
    3. Human Rights Watch, "Israel/Gaza: Avoid Harm to Civilians," Nov. 15, 2012; B'Tselem, "Israel's obligations in responding to rocket and mortar fire," Jan. 1, 2011.
  13. e) All of the above.
    1. See, for example, Yaakov Lappin, "Israel's Fight to Regain Deterrence," Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, Nov. 13, 2012.
    2. See, for example, Yousef Munayyer, "Bodies for Ballots," Daily Beast, Nov 15, 2012; and see tweet of Haaretz editor-in-chief Aluf Benn reproduced in Ahmed Moor, "Israeli elections … and death in Gaza," Mondoweiss, Nov. 14, 2012.
    3. Nicole Gaouette, "Israeli Attacks in Gaza Also Serve as a Warning to Iran," Bloomberg News, Nov. 20, 2012; Russ Wellen, "Leveraging Operation Pillar of Defense Into an Attack on Iran," Foreign Policy in Focus blog, Nov. 19, 2012.
    4. See, for example, the comment of Shlomo Brom, director of the program on Israel-Palestinian relations at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, that "If, like Netanyahu, you don't want an agreement or you don't believe in one, it is very comfortable for them that Hamas is there." Quoted in Judi Rudoren and Isabel Kershner, "On This, 2 Sides Agree: Fighting Hardened Positions," New York Times, Nov. 25, 2012.
  14. g) All of the above.
    1. Yeshiva World News, "LIVE BLOG DAY 4: Operation Pillar Of Defense [UPDATED 11:59PM IL]," Nov. 17, 2012.
    2. Ali Abunimah, "Inciting war crimes: Israel minister says force Gaza population into Egypt, cut off water, electricity," Electronic Intifada, Nov. 15, 2012.
    3. Ali Abunimah, "Amid calls for more war crimes, Israel minister hopes attacks will 'reformat' Gaza," Electronic Intifada, Nov. 14, 2012.
    4. Ali Abunimah, "'Flatten' Gaza like Hiroshima and 'mow' the population, Israeli public figures urge," Electronic Intifada, Nov. 18, 2012.
    5. Ali Abunimah, "'IDF must learn from the Syrians how to slaughter the enemy,' says prominent Israeli rabbi," Electronic Intifada, Nov. 18, 2012.
    6. Ali Abunimah, "'Flatten' Gaza like Hiroshima and 'mow' the population, Israeli public figures urge," Electronic Intifada, Nov. 18, 2012.
  15. d) All of the above.
    1. OCHA, oPt, Occupied Palestinian Territory: Escalation in hostilities: Gaza and southern Israel, Situation Report (as of 22 November 2012, 1500 hrs), p. 1.
    2. Ibid., p. 1.
    3. Ibid., p. 1.
  16. d) All of the above.
    1. Jeremy M. Sharp, "U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel," Congressional Research Service, March 12, 2012, RL33222, summary and p. 30.
    2. Ibid., pp. 4, 7.
    3. U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, "Israel Misuses U.S. Weapons against Palestinians: Case Study of F-16 Fighter Jets."
  17. h) All of the above.
    1. Associated Press, "US blocks UN Security Council call for Gaza cease-fire as unbalanced against Israel," Fox News, Nov. 20, 2012; Stephen Zunes, "Abetting Murder in Gaza," Foreign Policy in Focus, Nov. 26, 2012.
    2. The White House, Readout: president's Call to Prime Minister Netanyahu, Nov. 21, 2012.
    3. Colum Lynch, "U.S. Rejects U.N. Proposal to Compel War Crimes Probes of Gaza Conflict," Washington Post, Sept. 17, 2009; The White House, "Remarks by Assistant Secretary Esther Brimmer to the American Jewish Committee of Greater Miami and Broward," May 1, 2012.
    4. The White House, "Fact Sheet: Advancing Israel's Security and Supporting Peace," July 27, 2012.
    5. Stephen Zunes, "Washington Okays Attack on Unarmed U.S. Ship," Foreign Policy in Focus, June 30, 2011.
    6. Glenn Greenwald, "Obama's kill list policy compels US support for Israeli attacks on Gaza," Guardian, Comment is Free, Nov. 15, 2012.
    7. UN News Centre, "United States vetoes Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements," Feb. 11, 2011. The other 14 Security Council members voted in favor of the resolution, which was co-sponsored by over 120 countries.
  18. e) All of the above.
    1. U.S.Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
    2. Jewish Voice for Peace.
    3. Stolen Beauty.

Stephen R. Shalom teaches political science at William Paterson University and is on the editorial board of New Politics.

About Author
STEPHEN R. SHALOM is on the editorial board of New Politics.

If you’ve read this far, you were pretty interested, right? Isn’t that worth a few bucks -maybe more?  Please donate and  subscribe to help provide our informative, timely analysis unswerving in its commitment to struggles for peace, freedom, equality, and justice — what New Politics has called “socialism” for a half-century.