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

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