Talking points and Sound bites
· Israel is exercising its legitimate and recognized right of self-defense. Israel’s actions are aimed at protecting the millions of Israelis in rocket range.
No country in the world would accept with equanimity an on-going deadly threat that disrupts the daily lives of its citizens. So far more than 1,000 rockets have been launched since the escalation began on 10 November.
· The goals of the operation are:
o To stop the firing of rockets at Israel
o To deter Hamas and the other terrorist organizations from attacking Israel in the future
o To destroy Hamas' store of long-range missiles
· The situation is operationally asymmetrical: Israel uses surgical strikes while Hamas fires with imprecise weapons. Israel's precision weapons have kept the unfortunate harm to civilians relatively low. The conflict is also asymmetrical in its targeting. Israel directs its actions against the military targets of the terrorist organizations. The terrorists exclusively target civilian.
· Israel deeply regrets the loss of civilian life; it goes to great lengths to minimize harm to civilians but the responsibility squarely on Hamas, which uses the residents of Gaza as human shields.
· Israel again calls on Palestinian civilians to stay away from terrorists, weapon depots and rocket launching sites. Israel employs a number of techniques to warn the civilian population: including distributing fliers, making phone calls, sending text messages.
· Israel would welcome an arrangement that ensures the security of its citizens. It has decided to exhaust the political option. There is behind-the-scenes activity occurring now which is aimed at reaching a long-term cease-fire. But until an arrangement is reached, the IDF will continue operations to protect the civilian population of Israel.
· Israel does not wish to expand its operation, however, it may be forced into using ground forces if no arrangement is reached and the rocket fire continues.
· Israel will ensure that the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip remains stable. If the security situation allows, The IDF opens the Kerem Shalom crossing for movement of food, medicine and other goods from Israel despite previous attacks on the crossing.
Israel keeps supplying water and electricity to Gaza (although more than 110 rockets have been fired at Ashkelon, where the power station is located, in the past week).
It's important to emphasize that Israel is not preventing anything from entering into Gaza except for weaponry and dual-use materials.
· Israel appreciates the support of the international community for its actions taken in self-defence against the terrorism emanating from Gaza and calls on the international community to support efforts to eradicate terrorism and to put a complete and permanent stop to the shooting of rockets at civilians.
· On Friday (Nov. 16), Hamas fired two rockets at Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Hamas’ imprecise rocket fire threatened the holy sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
· Gaza’s military machine is connected to Iran, which has supplied it with enormous quantities of weapons. Iran provided Hamas with its long-range Fajr 5 rockets, trained most of the terrorists and transferred millions of dollars to fund the terrorist organizations.
· There has been no Israeli presence in the Gaza Strip since 2005. The legitimate blockade imposed on Gaza aims to prevent the entry of weapons arriving in bulk from Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan and Libya.
· Despite the constant rocket fire, life goes on for most Israelis.
· Israel's economy remains strong, with most business operating normally, as are financial markets.