Staffer for Israel's U.S. ambassador erroneously tweets his support for dialogue with Hamas
According to the website BuzzFeed.com, CNN misinterpreted statement made by Michael Oren, who says he encouraged dialogue with 'Palestinian neighbors,' not with Hamas.
Israel's ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren deleted a tweet on Saturday which claimed the Israeli government is willing to sit and talk with Hamas if the barrage of rockets from Gaza stops, the website BuzzFeed.com reported.
The original tweet read: "Just appeared on the set of #CNN: #Israel willing to sit down with #Hamas -- if they just stop shooting at us."
A short while later Oren twitted again: "Correction: the earlier tweet about my CNN interview was sent erroneously by a staffer."
According to the BuzzFeed report, "the deleted tweet Oren attributed to a staffer appeared to be a paraphrase of a comment he made during his CNN interview were he said, while not mentioning Hamas directly, that Israel would be willing to sit down and negotiate."
CNN has issued a clarification on its site:
CNN misinterpreted what Oren said when he talked about Israel's willingness to negotiate with its neighbors if they "just stop shooting at us." Because Gaza, which is run by Hamas, is one of Israel's neighbors, and because Hamas is the only entity "shooting" at Israel, we thought Oren was indicating a willingness to negotiate with Hamas. Oren, in fact, did not say Israel was willing to negotiate with Hamas.
Also on Saturday, the Daily Beast's Eli Lake reported that Netanyahu told U.S. President Barack Obama Israel does not intend to launch an invasion unless there is an escalation in rocket fire toward Israel.
The website's attributed its report to two U.S. administration officials who were briefed on a phone call between Netanyahu and Obama on Friday. The report added: "One senior U.S. official told The Daily Beast, 'The Israeli leadership at this point is leaning against a ground invasion. No one wants that. If Hamas ratchets up the pressure, however, they may elect to do so.'"