July 15, 2014 -- ABC News' foreign editor Jon Williams answered questions from readers Tuesday on ABC News' Facebook page about the conflict in Israel and Gaza.
Here are some of the answers Williams gave about the conflict, including how it began, how it might end, and what the U.S. involvement is.
How many Israelis have been killed from the Hamas rocket attacks?
Only one Israeli has been killed in the current conflict -- a civilian who was killed by shrapnel at the Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza.
What are the details of the proposed cease fire? Why is Hamas so adamantly refusing to accept the deal? There must be something "wrong" with it.
Hamas has been clear about the terms for any settlement: returning to the 2012 ceasefire agreement, the end of what it calls a "siege" and opening of borders, and the release of prisoners who were freed as part of the Gilad Shalit deal but were re-arrested after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and then killed last month.
For its part, Israel says it wants a return to peace and quiet -- an end to rocket fire from Gaza
My question. Why are we there. Why don't our troops just stay home protect all borders security checks at international airports etc..
There is no direct US military involvement
Why should our country be interested on that conflict? Why not just let them fix it by themselves.
Israel is a key U.S. ally in a region that is increasingly unstable -- Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Egypt.
Which country failed to keep its agreement first?
Answering that is a bit like the chicken and the egg. Each claims the other broke undertakings first.
In retrospect, would you say Israel's unilateral decision to pull out of Gaza was a mistake? Hamas remains committed more to the destruction of Israel than the creation of a viable infrastructure and now is trying to garner sympathy of those in the occupied territories in a senseless and fruitless battle. Goal seems to be making it as hard as possible for Israel to trust that there will ever be peace even if they go back to 1967 borders.
I guess it depends on your perspective: had Israel remained with outposts and settlements in Gaza, who knows how that would have ended? Disengagement, the separation barrier and Iron Dome have all done much to keep Israelis safe. But it also meant that Hamas and other militant groups could more easily stockpile weapons without direct oversight.
How much longer will it be before it starts pulling surrounding nations in on the conflict? Surely it's a security risk for Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Also, how much "an accident" was the missle from Syria landing in Israel? Seems awful suspicious given the situation and circumstances.
And that is why the U.S. is so concerned. The cause of Palestinians risks radicalizing the Muslim world beyond just the Middle East.
Why the killing? What's their reason for killing?
Hamas blames Israel for occupying Palestinian land -- Gaza was seized from Egypt in 1967. Israel "disengaged" militarily in 2005 but still controls most of its borders, as well as power and water. Israel says Hamas and other militant groups are threatening the lives of Israelis by firing rockets -- and that its citizens have a right to live without the threat of rockets hitting their homes.