The latest flare up in Gaza between Hamas and Israel, which has so far resulted in over 800 Palestinian civilian deaths, was ignited when Israel accused Hamas of kidnapping and murdering 3 Israeli teens.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had no doubt who was responsible for the murders saying, “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay.” Strong and assured words that brought us to this point in the deadly conflict.
But now, after weeks of fighting, the Israeli government is admitting the murders were not that of Hamas’s doing.
International skepticism was high that Hamas was responsible for these killings, and some have argued that due to repeated inconsistencies in Israel’s account of the murders that Israel was attempting to provoke Hamas into the latest conflict.
Accoring to New York Magazine, Musa al-Gharbi, writing for Al Jazeera argued that Israel was deliberately provoking Hamas:
“All the illegal and immoral actions related to Operation Brother’s Keeper were justified under the premise of finding and saving the missing teens whom the Israeli government knew to be dead — cynically exploiting the tragedy to whip up public outcry in order to provoke and then confront Hamas. This pattern of deception continues under the ongoing military offensive in Gaza.
For example, last week in collaboration with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Abbas, in its efforts to alienate Hamas, Israel announced a bad-faith cease-fire proposal, which Hamas was not consulted on and never agreed to but whose violation supposedly justified Israel’s expansion and intensification of the military campaign into Gaza.”
International leaders are trying to broker a deal between the two groups but as of Friday the only agreement has been a 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire.
U.S. Secretary of State attempted to broker a 7-day truce, but Israeli officials have rejected the longer-term ceasefire, Hamas has yet to weigh in on the truce. International peace talks are scheduled to resume this weekend in France.
h/t: NY Magazine