Rav Aviner, shlita answers brief questions via SMS. While these are not any kind of halachic tshuvot (long researched answers with major lists of sources and supporting opinions), they are quick and straightforward Jewish religious positions on issues of the moment…
About Israel’s war with Gaza, Protective Edge
Q: Is this war considered an obligatory war according to Halachah?
A: Certainly. According to the Rambam, one type of obligatory war is to protect Israel from its enemies. Defensive War (Hilchot Melachim 5:1).
Do We Need an Army?
Q: I heard a Rabbi say that we do not need an army and it is sufficient to rely on the spiritual strength of Rabbis. Is this true?
A: Moshe Rabbenu waged war, as did Yehoshua Bin Nun and King David. We need both of them: Human effort and Divine intervention. See Niddah 70b.
Protective Edge and Maaser
Q: Is it permissible to buy presents for wounded soldier in the hospital from Maaser?
A: Yes. They are in the category of poor.
Protective Edge and Killing Our Enemy
Q: I am a soldier and see hundreds of killed and wounded innocent people. Isn't our attack on Gaza unethical? Is it permissible for us to ensure our security with the blood of the Arabs of the Gaza Strip?
A: We are willing to make peace in a split second, but in that time they will murder us. We are obligated to protect the innocent citizens of Israel against the guilty. We try - far beyond any other army in the world - not to attack uninvolved civilians. I did not write innocent people but rather uninvolved civilians, since this is a defensive war against an enemy who has risen up to drive us from our Land. The "innocent" ones are our Nation and our soldiers.