This came after Israel had killed 13 Palestinians, including 3 children and a woman, and injured 115, including 26 children and 25 women since yesterday, 14 November.
This will be presented by Israel – and sympathetic or careless world media – as another justification for Israel’s attacks on Gaza to stop rocket fire. But this narrative is false.
Where there was calm and an effective truce, Israel chose to shatter it, bringing about the current deadly escalation.
In general, Palestinians fired rockets, or attacked the Israeli army, as a response to Israeli attacks, seeking to avoid escalation and publicly embracing a truce. Take a look at the sequence:
BBC reporter Jon Donnison said, “It is often difficult to pinpoint when a specific escalation in violence started - both sides will always remember what they see as a previous act of aggression by the other which enables them to justify their attacks as retaliation.” But we can do better than that.
The killing of Ahmad Abu Daqqa
Ahmad Abu Daqqa, profiled by The Electronic Intifada’s Rami Almeghari, died of his injuries.
Palestinians attack Israeli army, Israeli army kills civilians
Following this, Israel attacked civilian neighborhoods in Gaza. In the ensuing 72 hour period, Israeli forced killed 7 Palestinians. According to PCHR, five of the dead were civilians, including 3 children. Fifty-two others, including 6 women and 12 children were wounded.
“Four of these deaths and 38 of the injuries resulted from an Israeli attack on a football playground in al-Shoja’iya neighborhood east of Gaza City,” PCHR reported.
Not surprisingly, Palestinians fired rockets into Israel, as recorded by “Qassam Count”:
Qassam Count records no rockets on 11 November. This can perhaps be explained by the fact that Palestinian factions were in talks over a truce and were keen to see calm restored.
Israel’s Ynet reported on 11 November:
The Ynet reported added:
Truce takes hold
Reuters reported on 13 November:
The report added:
Israel destroys the truce
Yet Israel was not interested in calm.
Reuters noted that the Israeli attack “appeared to end a 24-hour lull in cross-border violence that surged this week.”
The rest is tragic history, some undoubtedly yet to be written in innocent blood.
An Israeli pattern
Israel’s contempt for truces and ceasefires is nothing new. In November 2008, Israel broke a months-long ceasefire, manufacturing a crisis that it then used to justify its December 2008-January 2009 massacre of 1,400 people in Gaza.
Israel has a long, well-documented history of breaking ceasefire after ceasefire, but you would never know it by watching the news or reading, say, The New York Times.
It is also important to keep in mind the context that Israel and Palestinians in Gaza are not symmetrical “sides.” Gaza is a small, impoverished enclave, home to 1.6 million people, some 80 percent of whom are refugees. Gaza is under a tight siege and blockade by Israel, the occupying power.
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