Earlier this Tuesday morning, Israel initiated airstrikes against Northern Gaza Strip killing the senior commander of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Baha Abu al-Ata (43 years old), Asma Mohammed (39 years old) and twenty-year-old Mohammed Atiyah. This ‘targeted assassination’ of a PIJ leader in Gaza was not the end of the Israeli mission, however.
Another round of Israeli airstrikes was then launched targeting Western Mezzeh in Damascus, Syria, targeting Akram Ajjouri, a deputy leader in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement.
The strike took place at roughly 4:20 AM in the morning and hit the residence of the PIJ commander, killing his son, injuring his daughter and murdering a bodyguard named Abdallah Hassan.
The strike also injured 10 others, missing the Akram Ajjouri who escaped the blast.
In response to these ‘targeted assassinations’, as Israel calls them, both Islamic Jihad and Hamas launched a barrage of rockets at Israeli towns and cities.
Over 450 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel, striking Tel Aviv, Sderot, and Ashekolon and even triggering alarms as far away as Jerusalem.
Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, the al-Quds brigades, have vowed to continue their responses.
Israel has also fired hundreds of Missiles into Gaza, destroying 190 homes, injuring over 111 (mostly civilians) and killing over 34.
Included in the dead have been at least 8 children and 3 women in Gaza.
Israel has also damaged 15 schools with their airstrikes and attacked a power facility, shutting off the electricity supply in Eastern Gaza.
The rocket fire into Israel has proven to have successfully overwhelmed Israel’s air defense systems, specifically its Iron Dome air defense systems.
Considering the fact that most of the rockets fired are nothing more than enhanced fireworks, this is extremely embarrassing to Israel and proves that its systems are a failure.
Reports have also surfaced indicating that one of Gaza’s armed factions scored a direct hit, using an RPG, on an Israeli Merkava Tank.
Despite the rocket fire destroying homes, vehicles, and roads, no Israeli civilians have been killed.
Israel clearly started the recent round of hostilities in Gaza, it has killed and injured overwhelming non-combatants and has somehow received, yet again, favorable coverage in the Western Press.
The BBC, FOX NEWS, SKY, MSNBC, CNN and the rest of the alphabet soup of corporate media outlets, have joined in on the anti-Palestinian hasbara narrative once again.
Despite the fact that Israel committed a flagrant violation of the Syrian Arab Republics' sovereignty, it killed a Palestinian leader without any due legal process and has been the all-out aggressor and only side to inflict civilian casualties.
The mainstream Western media, in fact, deals such a detriment to the journalistic field of work - when it comes to Palestine/Israel - that it is probably better to receive your news straight from the IDF twitter page than it is from them.
At least with the Israeli military propaganda, you are getting the clear propagandistic perspective of Israel.
Instead of listening to a loosely put together, poorly packaged, piece of romantic action drama, just listen to the Israeli foreign ministry.
You will then have one side of the story and not just hasbara constructed to present specifically to an assumed ignorant Western audience, in order to garner support for Israel.
The Return Of Targeted Assassinations? A widely repeated claim that is being spread throughout Western media, is that Israel has just resumed its policy of ‘targeted assassinations’ and that it hasn’t been involved in such activities in years.
This is incorrect.
Israel has consistently carried out targeted assassinations inside of Syria, this year, targeting Iranian military personnel, Hezbollah and others.
In fact, just back in September there was nearly a war sparked between Lebanon and Israel due to a campaign of ‘targeted assassinations’ of Hezbollah members.
The only thing that has changed this week, is that Israel has resumed its assassination campaign against Palestinian leaders.
A particularly dangerous development as the last war on Gaza in 2014 was started, in part, as a result of ‘targeted assassinations’.
Another problem with the reporting on this issue has been the way the term “targeted assassinations” itself is being used, implying that the target is, in fact, a single person when this is clearly not the case.
Entire families of those targeted from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad leadership, have also been injured and killed in the attacks.
This policy is a cowardly one, one not rooted in international law, and seeks to kill members of groups with their entire families whilst they are defenseless and without any legal process.
Why Is Israel Attacking Gaza Now? In order to understand Israel’s decision to target the Islamic Jihad leadership, we have to keep in mind two key factors, both Israeli and Palestinian politics.
The first reason for Israel’s recent acts of aggression is that the Israelis are likely concerned about the recent developments on the Palestinian political scene.
All of the Palestinian factions have come together and decided that it is time to hold new elections in the occupied territories.
There have been numerous failed proposals for new elections and unity before, yet it has failed time and time again, but this time it seems to really be a possibility.
This, of course, scares the Israelis, because they know that if any other factions, other than Fatah, win in the West Bank, Israel will have to deal with a new type of resistance from West Bankers.
More important though, is that there will also likely be an end to the ‘security coordination’ between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupation army, which allows Israel to operate its cost-free occupation of the territory.
If these strikes escalate into war, then the Palestinian Authority headed by Abbas’s Fatah Party, will likely abandon the idea of elections and condemn Gaza’s aggression.
We can assume this as in 2014, unity government talks were ongoing and the prospects for it to go further were completely destroyed upon the war's initiation.
In 2014, the war was also started after targeted assassinations of Hamas officials.
The second reason for Israel wanting to initiate a war or even just launch these, so-called ‘targeted assassination’ strikes is the current election deadlock Israel finds itself in.
After Israel’s snap elections on the 17th of September, the Israeli regime has been in shambles, with a possible third election on the horizon within the space of one year.
Israel’s current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was given the first chance at forming a coalition in the Israeli Knesset, despite winning one less seat than his rival Benny Gantz.
Netanyahu, the leader of Israel’s Right-Wing Likud Party was then unable to form a coalition and passed the torch onto his rival Benny Gantz, heading the Blue and White Party.
Gantz is still unable to form a coalition.
If a third snap election happens, Netanyahu who is still the reigning PM will have to deal with the “Gaza problem” which has led to him losing many votes in the past, especially in the South of Israel.
So executions of the leadership in Gaza, are a great PR move for Netanyahu and a war, or even more, targeted assassinations could help him win the next election.
Netanyahu’s Revenge On Gaza In order to understand the origins of the current Israeli rage influenced actions, we have to look back to November of 2018, when Israel failed a special forces operation in Gaza, ultimately resulting in the death of an Israeli commander, the death of a Hamas commander and a fight that would ensue in the following hours and days.
Israel sought to kidnap a Hamas Al-Qassam brigades commander, Nur Barakah, perhaps wanting to achieve a ‘prisoner swap’ type deal, exchanging him for the bodies of Israelis killed in combat, currently held by Hamas.
Israel failed badly and the Israeli press shed light on their failure.
Hamas also successfully used an anti-tank missile, in an attack that destroyed an Israeli bus.
Hamas waited for Israel to claim that the bus was full of civilians, before releasing a video that revealed the bus was filled with military personnel.
Hamas waited and fired the anti-tank missile, following the departure of all but one soldier, from the bus.
This was used, to threaten Israel.
The Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, claimed that Hezbollah had smuggled the anti-tank missiles into Gaza.
The Salahaldeen Brigades then leaked a video to ‘Al-Mayadeen TV’, revealing an operation from back in February of 2018.
The video showed several soldiers being killed, by an explosive laced flag pole.
The operation was at the time covered up by an embarrassed Israeli military.
Avigdor Lieberman then resigned as Israel’s ‘Defence Minister’ after Netanyahu refused to go to war.
He has been the kingmaker in Israeli politics ever since and his opposition to Netanyahu stems from this escalation in Gaza last November.
This year there has been a number of ‘flare-ups’ all of which Israel has not come out of looking militarily good, they have consistently killed civilians and have been fought off by Gazan armed factions.
This is despite the fact that Hamas and the other armed factions in Gaza have much less in terms of weapons technology.
If Netanyahu is to impress the Israeli population with his military campaign against Gaza and can bring Avigdor Lieberman around, he will be able to successfully form a coalition government in the third round of snap elections.
Why Is Violence The Only Option For Gaza? The response of Palestinian Islamic Jihad is quite literally all that they could have done.
The peaceful resistance has been shunned by the world’s media, NGO’s, governments and the United Nations.
Since the 30th of March, 2018, over 330 unarmed Palestinian demonstrators have been killed by Israeli sniper and tear gas fire, 44,000+ have also been injured since that time.
The ‘Great Return March’ demonstrations continue until this day, yet the protesters have been ignored and smeared in the West.
This was the last desperate cry from Gaza for a peaceful solution and the West has killed it. Nothing was done to stop Israel’s massacre and the media described the protests as “clashes”.
Hilarious that is that these so-called clashes, have gone on for over a year and a half and yet no Israeli has even sustained so much as a significant wound.
Gaza only has two options at this point, to resist the Israeli aggression with whatever weapons they have, or to lay down and die.
The West and Israel will only accept the latter.
What happens next? The ceasefire which was announced to have taken place at 5:30 AM this Wednesday has already failed due to Israel not respecting the demands of Islamic Jihad and then later PIJ rocket fire into Israel.
The two sides are now firing back and forth again.
Currently, Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, has stayed out of the fight.
If Hamas joins the fight it will likely be an all-out war between Israel and Gaza.
Hamas has only stayed out of the fight this long because they seek to allow for Palestinian elections to take place and a war would prevent this from happening.
There will likely be more massacres in the Gaza Strip in the coming days