Israel Launches War on Gaza: 'Operation Protective Edge' Targets Hamas
July 8, 2014 • 8:54PM

In the latest escalation in the pre-planned war against the recently constituted Palestinian unity government, Israeli war planes carried out a series of bombings throughout the Gaza Strip on July 8 Tuesday. In one F-16 bombing raid on a home in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, seven people were killed, and in a separate incident, a local Hamas leader was assassinated by a rocket strike.

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed the attacks were in retaliation for the recent kidnapping and killing of three yeshiva youths near Hebron in the West Bank, the reality is that the Israeli government has been planning the assault on Hamas in Gaza from the moment that the unity deal between Hamas and Fatah was announced and an interim technocratic government was formed, pending future elections.

Even the Israeli daily Ha'aretz vindicated Hamas of any responsibility for the West Bank killings and for the rocket fire into Israel from Gaza over the past 48 hours. Ha'aretz reported today that the rocket attacks were known to have been carried out by Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Committees, over objections from Hamas, which has maintained an unbroken ceasefire with Israel since November 2012. Hamas leader Khaled Mashal made significant concessions to secure the unity government agreement with Fatah, including endorsing all previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Netanyahu has been caught in a bind, with deep splits within his own cabinet over how far to go in the Gaza incursions. Today, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman began distancing himself from Netanyahu, by announcing that his all-Russian party was breaking its partnership with Likud, even though they did not pull out of the government. Leading Israeli intelligence figures, including former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy have publicly written that the unity deal between Hamas and Fatah is good for Israel, because Hamas is vital to maintaining security in Gaza.

In today's fighting, Israeli bombs and rockets hit 50 separate sites in Gaza, while Palestinians fired rockets into Israel, some reaching all the way to Tel Aviv.

As reported yesterday, both Israeli and Palestinian officials are panicked over the rapid escalation of violence and their inability to bring radical factions under control.

Defense Minister Ya'alon today announced that Israel planned to escalate the attacks on Gaza and that Operation Protective Edge would continue for "more than the next several days."

The assault on Gaza comes at a time when the entire region is being destabilized and set off on sectarian conflicts that could last for generations in a replay of the hundred years of war that ravaged Europe in the sixteenth century. Such a permanent population war is precisely what the British have been promoting for the region, dating back to the time of the original Bernard Lewis Plan of the late 1970s. Between the Sunni versus Shi'ite conflict being promoted by the Anglo-Saudi oligarchy to the Israel-Palestine conflict that has been manipulated by the British throughout the postwar period, the entire Southwest Asia region is now on the chopping block.