Summer – Israeli Government and Defense Minister Ehud Barak begin preparations for the current attack.
June 18th – Israel and Hamas achieve a cease-fire brokered by Egypt. Hamas ceases its rocket attacks into Israel. Israel does not ease its blockade on Gaza. Some rockets are still fired, though Hamas does not coordinate or take responsibility for these attacks.
November 4th – Israel breaks the cease-fire, its troops enter Gaza, killing 6 people and capturing 4 others. Hamas resumes firing rockets.
November 11th – Ehud Olmert on the cease fire, “We’re in no hurry, but we know very well that the moment of confrontation will eventually come…The question is not whether there will be a confrontation, but when it will take place, under what circumstances, and who will control these circumstances, who will dictate them, and who will know to exploit the time from the beginning of the ceasefire until the moment of confrontation in the best possible way.”
December – Israeli government warns that continued rocket attacks will result in a military strike.
December – Major General Yoav Galant, before the attacks, should Israel “be forced to launch the operation” instead of launching it at a time of its convenience, then “this will cost the Israeli side dearly on the battlefield.”
December 26th – Israel begins air strikes against Gaza, killing hundreds and wounding more.
December 27th – Hamas leaders call for 3rd Intifada in retaliation.
December 27th – US National Security Council spokesman: “”These people are nothing but thugs.”
Tell me again…who started this current cycle of violence, and who are the thugs?
Every Israeli military action against the Palestinian people has resulted in the empowerment of extremists and has resulted in only more violence. See Bernard Avisham’s insightful blog:
“One cannot inflict pain on Hamas without magnifying pain on the residents of Gaza, whose support for Hamas was born out of just such violence and political stalemate. One cannot magnify pain on the residents of Gaza without further discrediting the Palestine Authority in the eyes of West Bankers, particularly the youth, whose relative affluence only makes them feel like traitors. Spreading violence means not only new and tragic deaths, but new pictures on al–Jazeera of ambulances pulling bodies from crumbled buildings; new reports on the BBC, or CNN, adding up the casualties, implicitly daring viewers to value the lives of Israeli children over those of Palestinian children.”