Israel, by choosing to assassinate top Hamas military commander, Ahmed al-Jabari, has made it clear that they intend to wage an all-out war against Hamas, a war which could ultimately lead to the invasion and re-occupation of the Gaza Strip. Already, Israel has been busy calling up reservists and moving infantry toward the Gaza Strip while the attacks against the Palestinian people in the Gaza continued through Wednesday evening (14 November 2012). Several civilians have been killed in the Wednesday attacks so far including an eleven-month-old baby and a six-year-old child. Many others have been injured, ten of them critically. These have been in addition to the many other Gazan civilians who have been killed and injured in the recent spate of attacks by Israel leading up to Wednesday’s attack.
The assassination was clearly intended to provoke Hamas to retaliate which, in turn, will provide the Israelis with a casus belli to launch an attack. Hamas has indicated that they will continue to fight as crowds gathered in Gaza calling for retaliation.
Since the Israelis have invested considerable time in planning and carrying out provocative acts against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in order to incite retaliation, and, considering the general situation of instability in the region immediately surrounding Israel, one needs to question why Israel has chosen to escalate that instability by provoking and attacking Hamas at this time. Is this just part of some other more extensive strategy and, if so, one needs to question what America’s role might be since the US has already given unqualified support to Israel’s actions in the Gaza.
It may well be, since Hamas has strongly suggested that they would not support Iran by launching an attack against Israel if Israel attacked Iran, that Israel has chosen to take on Hamas in the belief that the Gaza would be easy pickings and that other entities would not come to Hamas’ aid in the event of an Israeli attack or invasion and occupation.
Israel always plays its cards close to its chest and their real immediate intentions are not yet clear. However, as events unfold, a clearer picture of what Israeli intentions will emerge. This blog will attempt to update with analysis as events happen. At this stage, though, the picture is looking grim.