On November 14, Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari was murdered in a Israeli missile attack. In a bitter irony, barely a few hours before the attack, Hamas received the draft proposal of a permanent truce agreement with Israel.
“Hours before Hamas strongman Ahmed Jabari was assassinated, he received the draft of a permanent truce agreement with Israel, which included mechanisms for maintaining the cease-fire in the case of a flare-up between Israel and the factions in the Gaza Strip.”(Haaretz, November 15, 2012)
The targeted assassination of Ahmed Jabari was followed by an extensive bombing campaign under Operation Pillar of Cloud. The latter consists of a carefully planned military endeavor.
F-16 fighter planes, Apache helicopters and unmanned drones were deployed. Israeli naval forces deployed along the Gaza shoreline were involved in extensive shelling of civilian targets.
Israel’s defense minister Ehud Barack has confirmed a scenario of military escalation, blaming Palestine for having committed acts of aggression: .
“[t]he provocations we have suffered and the firing of rockets to the southern settlements within Israel have forced us to take this action. I want to make clear that Israeli citizens will not suffer such actions. The targets are to hit the rockets and to harm the organization of Hamas.”
The Israeli attacks were followed by the firing of dozens of rockets by Hamas against Israel.
Palestine’s response was known to Israeli war planners. The resulting Israeli civilian casualties are now being used to justify military escalation on humanitarian grounds.
What we are dealing with is a carefully planned operation, a clear act of provocation. The deaths of Israeli civilians (envisaged and foreseen by IDF military planners) are being used to muster the support of the Israeli public.
Meanwhile, the Israeli attack is casually portrayed by the Western media as part of a legitimate counter-terrorism agenda.
The Obama administration is blaming the victims of Israeli atrocities. The victims are portrayed as “terrorists”. According to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney:
“Hamas [is] a U.S.-designated terror group, which governs the Gaza strip, that is instigating the violence. … Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza or to move the Palestinian people any close to achieving self-determination.” (ABC News, November 15, 2012)
A scenario of military escalation has already been announced. Reports confirm that Israeli is contemplating a ground war, including an invasion of Gaza:
There are also reports that Israel may be preparing for a ground operation as it moves troops near the border. A ground incursion by Israel into Gaza could signal the beginning of an all-out war. (Ibid)
The Broader Middle East War
The attack on Gaza must be understood in relation to the broader Middle East war. The Israeli attack was approved by president Obama. It has a direct bearing on US-NATO-Israeli war plans pertaining to Lebanon, Syria and Iran.
The timing is of utmost significance: one week following the US presidential elections.
Operation Pillar of Cloud is a deliberate act of provocation, intended to lead to military escalation.
The Israeli public is firmly opposed to a broader Middle East war including the conduct of Israeli surgical strikes directed against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Is the attack on Gaza a trigger mechanism which could lead the World into a broader Middle East war?
We are not dealing with an isolated event. The invasion of Gaza is part of the broader US-NATO-Israel military agenda.
Israeli Officials Talk Long War in Gaza, Prepare Invasion
Tanks and armored vehicles poured into southern Israel today while busloads of soldiers were brought to the front, as a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, the first since early 2009, seems to be coming closer.
Air strikes have been a virtual constant against the tiny strip over the past day, with large numbers of civilian casualties andIsraeli officials talking up the idea that the attacks are just the beginning.
Israeli officials have condemned Hamas for retaliating against their attacks, with Benjamin Netanyahu terming the retaliation a “double war crime.” Officials say if Hamas continues to retaliate they will consider a ground invasion, but others have suggested they will keep launching air strikes whether Hamas reacts or not, and it seems increasingly that the timing of the ground invasion is just a question of getting reservists and other troops into the area, with a decision likely already made.
The 2008-09 Israeli invasion killed 1,417 people, with the overwhelming majority innocent civilians. Israeli officials have since touted it as a model of “deterrence” and have been talking up a repeat performance ever since. They say that this war’s goals are identical. It seems that repeat may begin soon, as there is little to no momentum coming from the international community to calm the situation down, with Western officials mostly reiterating that they support Israel.