- While each side blames the other for initiating the recent violence between Gaza and Israel, a time line for events gives some evidence that most often Palestinian attacks were a response to Israeli attacks. The Palestinians attempted to broker a truce.
The time line of events before November 11 can be found here and in part in the Norman Finkelstein interview appended. Qassam Count that records rocket attacks into Israel recorded no rockets on November 11. This may have been due to the fact that Palestinian factions were engaged in talks designed to result in a truce and a restoration of calm. Ynet reported that Egyptian intelligence officials had been able to broker an end to the violence that had been escalating. Ynet also reported: According to senior Egyptian sources, both and Islamic Jihad have agreed to hold their fire if Israel suspends its airstrike on Gaza. > Cairo-based sources said that Israel reportedly agreed not to retaliate over sporadic rocket fire from Gaza, as long as it was sans casualties However, on November 12 there were 2 rockets fired into Israel according to Qassam Count after two days of air attacks by Israel on the Gaza Strip. By the 13th of November Reuters was able to report that after 5 days of increasing violence, Israel and Palestinians had stepped back from the brink and sent signals to each other they would cease fire, unless they were attacked.
The prime minister of Gaza's Hamas government praised the main armed factions for agreeing to a truce. He said: “They showed a high sense of responsibility by saying they would respect calm should the Israeli occupation also abide by it." Only the next day, November 14th, Israel carried out the extrajudicial killing of the military chief of Hamas Ahmad al-Jabari. One wonders if al-Jibari thought that it was safe to travel because of the truce?
Why would Israel kill al-Jibari in the clear knowledge that this would provoke a violent response? Many think that Netanyahu wants to show how strong he is before the upcoming election and score political points. On the appended video, Norman Finkelstein claims that this may a factor but that other factors are also important.
Finkelstein lists several diplomatic failures that Netanyahu has faced of late and also the increasing links that the Hamas government has with Turkey and Qatar..According to Finkelstein, the Arab community must be shown the power of Israel. Finkelstein thinks that Turkey and Egypt will put pressure on the U.S. to convince Israel that there should be a ceasefire and that this will be successful. However Finkelstein may be wrong. Israel is amassing troops on the Gaza Strip border.
Perhaps Israel is planning a final solution for Hamas. I have also appended another video that shows Mark Regev defending Israel's use of phosphorus and other bombs in Operation Cast Lead. The video has sarcastic sub-titles to accompany Regev's words.