It is Israeli internal political bickering over how to proceed with creating a Greater Israel by overrunning the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with the eventual aim of annexing both territories to Israel that prevents them from doing it right now.
One the one side there’s Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of the extreme right-wing Beiteinu party and Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett of the equally right-wing The Jewish Home party, calling for an immediate invasion of the occupied territories after the murders of the three Jewish boys, while on the other side there’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu playing things cautiously and not willing to do anything that is likely to tip world opinion against Israel any more than it already is by doing anything so rash as launching a full-on invasion or attack of the occupied territories.
There should be no mistaking Netanyahu’s intentions here; the Likud party that he leads exists in order to create a Greater Israel but for Netanyahu it’s all a matter of timing and favourable conditions existing before he can act. With Obama still President in the US the time is definitely not now. Netanyahu knows he can’t do anything like invade the Gaza Strip or the West Bank without having the US one hundred percent behind him just as he can’t attack Iran without the full support of the US. Netanyahu can provoke and prod at the Palestinians in order get them to react in such a way as to tip Obama and public opinion in favour of Israel but he knows he needs to take care as to how far he can go without it seeming like the provocation is deliberate.
Lieberman and Bennett, and the other fringe dwelling far-right Israeli groups, however, couldn’t care less about public opinion and believe that they can achieve their ends using existing Israeli forces and without the help and support of the US or the Western world.
For now, this political bickering is all there is between the status quo and full-scale war against the Palestinian people. But one thing is for dead sure; while the right-wing of Israel dominates Israeli politics, there will never be an independent Palestinian sovereign state – no matter how much Netanyahu says he wants to see a two-state solution. He’s just biding his time.