Given, despite their propaganda to the contrary, that the Israelis instigated this current round of violence by the attempted targeted killings of Palestinian fighters Talat Jarbi and Mohammed Maqawi as they rode their motorbike near Rafah on Sunday 21 October 2012, and have since chosen to escalate the violence by extra-judicially murdering Hamas commander Ahmed al-Jabari, it has become clear that the Israelis have a long term game plan that looks ominous for the people of the Gaza Strip.
Each and every quiet period over the past three months has been broken not by Hamas but by the Israelis. Apart from the incidents mentioned above, there was also the killing of a twelve-year-old Palestinian boy who was playing soccer when he was machine-gunned to death on Thursday 8 November 2012. Taking these and other incidents into consideration, a pattern of deliberate Israeli provocation emerges. On top of this is the latest call up of some 75,000 Israeli reservists which are more than double the call up numbers authorised initially. These troops are now beginning to mass on the borders of the Gaza Strip together with tanks, artillery and other armoured vehicles. The bigger picture that is emerging does not bode well for the Gazan people as a full-on invasion seems imminent.
Some of those reservists called up may also be deployed elsewhere, possibly in or near the West Bank in case Palestinian fighters in the West Bank rise in support of their comrades in the Gaza Strip. Others may be deployed to Israel’s northern borders with south Lebanon in case Hezbollah also react to events.
30,000 troops, the number of reservists that were initially called up, is a force that, with air and artillery support, would easily be able to overwhelm Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip in the event of an invasion and occupation by the Israelis.
In the event of being overwhelmed, most fighters would be able to escape to Egypt by either fighting their way out or merging with Palestinian refugees who would likely flood into the Sinai region of Egypt to escape the war.
I hope I’m wrong, but I do not believe that a Hamas promise to halt the rocket launchings into Israel will stop the coming onslaught of the Israelis into the Gaza and the bloodbath that would accompany such an onslaught. The Israelis are intent on invading and occupying the Gaza Strip in order to ultimately annex it to Israel pushing the Palestinians there out into either the Sinai or Jordan.
But the ultimate endgame has yet to play out. Israel still want regime change in Iran and the destruction of Hezbollah in Lebanon as well as complete domination of the West Bank.
Gaza, it seems, is just the first step toward their dream of a Greater Israel that will include the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, the Golan Heights and, if possible, south Lebanon up to the Litani River. It’s also quite clear that the US and the West are going to be doing their best to help the Israelis achieve their goals.