The Institute of Middle East Understanding prepared a timeline of events leading up to Wednesday's assassination of Hamas leader Ahmed Al-Jaabara in Gaza City, The killing of Hamas' number two military leader was expected to bring a violent response from Hamas.
"On Thursday, November 8, following a two-week lull in violence, Israeli soldiers invade Gaza. In the resulting exchange of gunfire with Palestinian fighters, a 12-year-old boy is killed by an Israeli bullet while he plays soccer. Shortly afterwards, Palestinian fighters blow up a tunnel along the Gaza-Israel frontier, injuring one Israeli soldier.
"On Saturday, an anti-tank missile fired by Palestinian fighters wounds four Israeli soldiers driving in a jeep along the Israel-Gaza boundary.
"An Israeli artillery shell lands in a soccer field in Gaza killing two children, aged 16 and 17. Later, an Israeli tank fires a shell at a tent where mourners are gathered for a funeral, killing two more civilians, and wounding more than two dozen others.
"Sunday, November 11, one Palestinian civilian is killed and dozens more wounded in Israeli attacks.
"Four Israeli civilians are also injured as a result of projectiles launched from Gaza, according to the Israeli government. During an Israeli government cabinet meeting, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz urges the government to 'cut off the head of the snake,' take out the leadership of Hamas in Gaza.' He also calls for a cutting off of water, food, electricity, and fuel shipments to Gaza's 1.7 million people.
"Monday, November 12, Palestinian militant factions agree to a truce if Israel ends its attacks."
This is a timeline that provides a carefully orchestrated Israeli plan of escalation which by Friday afternoon, November 16, had led to three days of intensive airstrikes against Gaza. More than 20 deaths had been reported throughout Gaza this week, according to the Palestinian news outlet, Ma'an. (The picture above is from Gaza City, taken during an Israeli air raid this week.)
On Monday, Benjamin Netanyahu played his role in softening opposition to his well-planned invasion. He spoke to 44 foreign ambassadors at a meeting Israel arranged in Ashkelon, in Southern Israel. The purpose of this event was to describe the rockets from Gaza as a dire threat against Israeli citizens.
What Netanyahu said to the ambassadors about Israel's "right to defend itself" applies equally to the Palestinians who are held down by Israel's occupation. Is Netanyahu so caught up in his own Israel First mindset that he does not grasp the reality that at least some of these 44 ambassadors might just be giving some thought to a perspective other than the one Netanyahu describes with such uncomprehending earnestness?
Some of these ambassadors must have come from countries that have gone through their own struggles against outside colonizers.
The clip below runs for six minutes. It shows Netanyahu in his most persuasive hasbara (propaganda) mode:
During his presentation, Netanyahu warned, referring to the rocket attacks Israel has provoked from one faction of militants inside Gaza, "We are going to take whatever action is necessary to put a stop to this. This is not merely our right, it is also our duty."
Netanyahu had to be aware that one action he had already ordered was the assassination of Ahmed Al-Jaabari, the head of Hamas' military wing. Two days later, on Wednesday, November 14, Jaabari was killed by an Israeli precision air strike as he was being driven down a crowded Gaza City street. (the burned-out automobile is shown in the photo above.)