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Israeli Ambassador Deletes Tweet Signaling Willingness To Sit Down With Hamas

Blames a staffer for "erroneously" sending the Tweet.

Posted on November 18, 2012, at 2:40 a.m. ET

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The Israeli Ambassador to the United States deleted a tweet Saturday evening in which he said Israel would be willing to sit down with Hamas if they stopped firing at Israel.

"Just appeared on the set of #CNN: #Israel willing to sit down with #Hamas -- if they just stop shooting at us," Ambassador Michael Oren said in a now-deleted tweet.

Oren followed up on his deletion, blaming the mistake on a staffer.

"Correction: the earlier tweet about my CNN interview was sent erroneously by a staffer," he said.

The deleted tweet Oren attributed to a staffer appeared to be a paraphrase of a comment he made during his CNN interview where he said, while not mentioning Hamas directly, that Israel would be willing to sit down and negotiate.

"The people, and the government, and the State of Israel want peace with their neighbors. We are willing to sit down and negotiate with them, if they are willing to sit down and negotiate with us. Everything's on the table. We sign on to the two-state solution we're committed. Just stop shooting at us," Oren told CNN's Don Lemon.

Update A spokesman for the Israeli Ambassador emails "Ambassador Oren signaled in his interview our willingness to sit with our Palestinian neighbours - not with Hamas."

Update 2 CNN clarified there understanding of the Ambassador's remarks: "An earlier version of this story included a misinterpretation of a statement made by Michael Oren, Israeli ambassador to the United States. 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."

A longer clip of Oren's interview.

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