It was widely reported that Israel agreed to delay any war against Iran until after U.S. elections.
A little over a week after the election, Israel launched a "targeted assassination" against the leader of Hamas (who Haaretz called Israel's subcontractor in Gaza). That is what started the current round of fighting. Rabbi Arthur Waskow agrees that Israel started the fighting.
Professor Michel Chossudovsky notes:
"On November 14, Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari was murdered in a Israeli missile attack. In a bitter irony, barely a few hours before the attack, Hamas received the draft proposal of a permanent truce agreement with Israel.
"'Hours before Hamas strongman Ahmed Jabari was assassinated, he received the draft of a permanent truce agreement with Israel, which included mechanisms for maintaining the cease-fire in the case of a flare-up between Israel and the factions in the Gaza Strip.'"(Haaretz, November 15, 2012)
"The targeted assassination of Ahmed Jabari was followed by an extensive bombing campaign under Operation Pillar of Cloud. The latter consists of a carefully planned military endeavor.
"F-16 fighter planes, Apache helicopters and unmanned drones were deployed. Israeli naval forces deployed along the Gaza shoreline were involved in extensive shelling of civilian targets.
"Israel's defense minister Ehud Barack has confirmed a scenario of military escalation, blaming Palestine for having committed acts of aggression: '[t]he provocations we have suffered and the firing of rockets to the southern settlements within Israel have forced us to take this action. I want to make clear that Israeli citizens will not suffer such actions. The targets are to hit the rockets and to harm the organization of Hamas.'
"The Israeli attacks were followed by the firing of dozens of rockets by Hamas against Israel.
"Palestine's response was known to Israeli war planners. The resulting Israeli civilian casualties are now being used to justify military escalation on humanitarian grounds.
"What we are dealing with is a carefully planned operation, a clear act of provocation. The deaths of Israeli civilians (envisaged and foreseen by IDF military planners) are being used to muster the support of the Israeli public.
"Meanwhile, the Israeli attack is casually portrayed by the Western media as part of a legitimate counter-terrorism agenda."
(Glenn Greenwald notes that America's targeted assassination policy is identical to that of Israel. This could escalate quickly. Not only are Israel and Hamas exchanging rocket fire -- with casualties of children on both sides -- but Israel is calling up 30,000 reserve soldiers ahead of a possible ground invasion of Gaza.)
Israel is holding its own elections in January. Many commentators say that the attacks on Gaza are a cynical ploy by the Israeli Prime Minister to win re-election:
"Netanyahu was accused by left-wing opposition Hadash party MP Mohammed Baraka [the leader of the Israeli Hadash opposition party] of 'making another round in a circle of blood for cynical political interests' and 'speculating in the blood of the Palestinian people.'"
"Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn denounced the regime, saying that 'once again Israel has wantonly attacked the people of Gaza, bombing and killing.