According to an unnamed General Staff official, "Gaza is possibly Israel's most volatile front today. It is a front that can explode at any given moment." In fact, Hamas and other resistance groups respond only when attacked. Israel does it belligerently. Victims are blamed.
Perhaps more slaughter's coming. If so, civilians will suffer most. Israel calls them legitimate targets. International law prohibits attacking them. Doing so constitutes crimes of war and against humanity. Nonetheless, they're standard Israeli policy. Lawlessness and brutality define its agenda. War strategy embodies them.
Israel notoriously uses false flag incidents to justify attacks or all-out war. In June 1982, Arafat was falsely blamed for Abu Nidal militants' attempted assassination of Israeli UK ambassador Shlomo Argov.
War on Lebanon followed. Around 18,000 Palestinians were massacred. Israel occupied South Lebanon until May 2000. It still illegally holds Sheba Farms, a 14-square mile water-rich area near Syria's Golan. It's also been lawlessly occupied since 1967 along with Ghajar, a bordering Lebanese village.
If Israel plans Cast Lead II, expect one or more manufactured incidents preceding it. The possibility is real. Like Washington, Israel chooses confrontation, not diplomacy; hostility, not conflict resolution; and war, not peace. The business of both countries is war. Expect new theaters opened in 2012.
At the same time, sham peace talks continue in Jordan. Two rounds were held. Two more are planned on January 21 and January 26. Nothing's been accomplished. Israel doesn't negotiate. It demands. Longtime collaborator Abbas never represented Palestinian interests and doesn't now.
WikiLeaks cables disclosed Israel informed him of Cast Lead before launching it. During the slaughter, his silence showed complicity. Defense Minister Ehud Barak's telegrams to US deputy ambassador Luis Moreni said Israel asked if Egypt and Fatah would take over Gaza once Israel defeated Hamas.
At issue now is what do they know about possible new attacks, and how will they respond if launched?
A Final Comment
On December 26, Israel's High Court ruled that state and private Israeli companies may plunder Palestinian West Bank quarries. Doing so violated international law and past Supreme Court decisions.
Expect Israel to take full advantage. At issue is controlling all Palestinian resources and valued land. In March 2009, Yesh Din human rights volunteers petitioned the High Court to prevent it. On January 10, they requested another hearing for reconsideration. It posed the following questions:
(1) What are Israel's boundaries with respect to Palestinian resources? In addition, under military occupation, how do 1907 Hague Convention Articles 43 and 55 apply?
Article 43 says occupiers "shall take all the measures in (their) power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country."
Article 55 stipulates that occupiers are regarded only as administrators with temporary possession over "public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct," reflecting temporary possession only.
(2) Have long-term occupiers authority to grant its citizens or corporations exploitive power over territory not their own?