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.
Back-flash to December 2008. Operation Cast Lead
It is also important to understand Israeli’s current plans to invade Gaza in relation to the December 2008 bombing and ground invasion of Gaza under Operation Cast Lead:
Michel Chossudovsky, November 15, 2012
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