It has become clear that the Israeli authorities were aware that the three kidnapped teenagers were dead from day one, and that Netanyahu’s government deliberately misled the public to manipulate the population’s emotions and justify “Operation Protective Edge.”
Although the kidnap and murder of the three teenagers was tragic, this offensive against the Gaza Strip – which has now killed nearly 90 Palestinians, including over 20 children – was never about them. It was a pre-planned reaction to the Hamas-Fatah unity government, something Israel was unhappy about. It never tried to hide its dissatisfaction that the previously sparring sides had now reached a compromise – something most Palestinians were overjoyed about.
It was one thing that the unity government was popular among the masses, but when international support started to trickle in – including from the U.S., Israel’s best friend – Netanyahu began spoiling for a fight.
And while this current military offensive is meant to appear unplanned, it is not. An air force is not capable of attacking hundreds of targets without much forward planning.
Hamas – which was not even responsible for the murder of the three teenagers, but rather some rogue affiliate looking for trouble – is attempting to defend itself against the onslaught but it is clear that it cannot prevail, with Israel even threatening a ground invasion.
Until the international community forces Israel to make drastic changes in its policies and its self-definition, these offensives against Gaza, and the Palestinian people, will continue, and innocent blood will continue to flow.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 11, 2014, on page 7.