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Gaza Why Now?

Why a new war on Gaza?
by Thierry Meyssan – Voltaire Network – Damascus (Syria) – 19 November, 2012

On the 14th November 2012, Israeli armed forces launched the operation “Pillar of Defense” against the administrative and military installations of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. On the first day of the attack, they assassinated Ahmed Jaabari, the number 2 of the armed branch of the Palestinian organisation. They also destroyed the underground launch-pads of their surface-to-surface Fajr 5 missiles.

“Pillar of Defense” quickly expanded, as Israeli aviation multiplied its bombing raids. The Israeli military command proceeded with the call-up of 30,000 reserve troops, and rapidly increased that number to 75,000 men, at the risk of destabilizing the economy. In this way, Israel has given itself the capacity to invade the Gaza Strip with ground troops.

This situation calls for several explanations.

Why now?

Tel-Aviv is taking the initiative in the midst of the partial power vacuum reigning in Washington. We are awaiting the nomination of new Secretaries for State and Defense. The new nominations may be ambassador Susan Rice and Senator John Kerry. However, a bitter struggle is currently being played out in the Press in an attempt to disqualify Ms. Rice. In any event, the position of the exiting Secretaries of State and Defense are weakened, and their successors have not yet been named.

In identical fashion, Tel Aviv had taken a similar initiative with the operation “Cast Lead” during the period of transition between Presidents Bush Jr.and Obama. Certain commentators are also evoking the proximity of the Israeli legislative elections, and suggest that Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman are attempting to polish their image as hard-line hawks.

This is improbable, since in fact, they are launching this attack without being sure of the result in advance. In 2008-2009, the failure of “Cast Lead” was fatal for Ehud Olmert’s government.
What’s the aim?

Traditionally, Israeli armed forces adapt their war objectives to the occasions as they arise.

At the least, the aim is to weaken the Palestinian Resistance by destroying infrastructures and administrations in the Gaza Strip, just as they do at more or less regular intervals. However, the weakening of Hamas will automatically profit Fatah in the West Bank – and Fatah will not miss the opportunity to push a little harder in its demand for the recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations.

At most, “Pillar of Cloud” might open the way for an old Zionist plan – the proclamation of Jordan as a Palestinian state, the transfer of the population of Gaza (perhaps also that of the West Bank) into Jordan, and the annexion of the territories thus evacuated. In this case, the military operation must not target all Hamas leaders indiscriminately, but only those who oppose the former poitical head of the organisation, Khaled Mechaal, since he is slated to become the first President of a Palestinian State in Jordan. …more

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