If you are an American citizen, tonight’s post may be even more disturbing than all my other distressing posts on this Gaza war. Yesterday, I posted that the IDF attempted to assassinate Mohammed Deif in Gaza. Hamas announced that Israel had murdered his 27 year-old pregnant wife and his 7 month-old son along with several other unnamed individuals. The Israeli media buzzed for hours about whether Deif survived this, Israel’s fifth attempt to kill him (previous failed attempts had cost him both legs and possibly an eye).
Then I detected a growing consensus in the media that Deif likely had survived. But my Israeli source, who has excellent contacts among Israeli military and intelligence circles tells me there is a 90% likelihood Deif was killed yesterday. I say all this advisedly, since I know that if the story turns out to be true it will cause perverse rejoicing in the halls of power in Israel. And this is the sort of rejoicing that will destroy Israel in the long run. But I’ve learned by experience that my source is often right, no matter whether I want him to be or not. So I feel it’s important to release this claim and test how it plays out over the coming days.
I read yesterday other claims from Hamas that five U.S.-made 5,000 lb. GBU 28 bunker-buster bombs were used to penetrate the al-Dalou home in which Deif and his family were sheltering. My source confirms that the story is true. The depth of the crater left at the scene indicates only a bunker buster could have produced it.
These are the same weapons used in a similar strike by Israel that failed to assassinate Hassan Nasrallah during the 2006 Lebanon war. The IDF presumably believed the Gaza home had a reinforced safe room or underground bunker in which the victims believed they would be safe.
It’s also important to add that Israel justified the assassination by noting that Palestinian militants had been first to break the ceasefire by shooting three missiles into Israel. Though none reached their intended targets or caused any damage, this was the pretext Israel needed to launch the assassination plan. When I read this passage in a Haaretz story by Amir Oren, my ears immediately perked up:
In the past, more than 30 years ago, there were military and diplomatic Israeli officials who were not averse to staging an incident in order to have an excuse to respond to it, with a pre-planned operation.
Like much Israeli national security reporting, you have to read reporters carefully to understand what they’re saying (or not saying, but inferring). I asked the source mentioned above whether Oren could be referring to a provocation that was deliberately engineered by Israel, thus giving it the justification to launch the Deif murder. His reply was that his own contacts had no comment. Given that I asked if he could confirm or refute my surmise and he offered that rejoinder, naturally it piqued my curiosity even further.
So did Israel itself either launch rockets that it shot down; or did it arrange for Palestinians to fire such rockets knowing where and when they’d be fired so they could be destroyed? Before skeptics run to their keyboards, there are many ways Israel could induce Palestinians to fire rockets without them even realizing Israel was the motivating force in the operation. My strong suspicion is that Israel engaged in fraud in this instance.
Remember that within only a few minutes of the firing of the rockets, Hamas released a statement saying it was not responsible. The fact that Deif was at home with his family instead of in a fortified tunnel underground, meant he too expected no rockets to be fired nor any Israeli military action.
Remember as well, that Islamic Jihad’s leader has praised his group’s stellar relations with the Egyptian military junta. It’s not hard to imagine that Egypt might be angry with Hamas’ stance during the ceasefire talks and seek to teach it a lesson. Thus, after collaborating with Israeli intelligence on the matter, it might induce IJ to launch missiles at Israel. Also, don’t forget my report regarding the first ceasefire attempt, saying that Israel wrote the entire ceasefire proposal and told the Egyptians to present it as their own. Hamas was never consulted, though Egypt claimed it had been. When it comes to scheming and under-handedness, both Israeli agents and Egyptian intelligence officials are more than capable of engineering something as heinous as this.
I don’t offer this as anything more than one possible scenario showing how Israel may’ve “arranged” for a ceasefire violation. There are scores more that are possible and plausible.
Later in the day, the IDF assassinated three senior Hamas commanders in Rafah. It is ratcheting up the killing machine. It’s already destroyed every piece of property and building in Gaza. Now, as Hamas fighters begin emerging from underground, Israel wants to wreak revenge of them for how well they fought in defending their country in this past war.
I heard snippets of Bibi Netanyahu’s press conference today and he was in stellar and typically megalomaniacal form. He pounded tables, waved his arms insistently, all for the purpose of persuading the gathered media that “Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas.” He’s an expert at this: hijacking whatever terrorist incident is grabbing world headlines (he did it memorably on 9/11) and piggybacking his own obsessions onto it. So with the world’s attention shifting slightly from Gaza to Iraq; and with the beheading of a U.S. journalist by ISIS searing the world’s TV screens, he forcefully guides world attention back to his own agenda: Hamas.
There is no connection at all between ISIS and Hamas. None. Bibi made it all up out of whole cloth. And he doesn’t care. He figures if anyone catches him in a lie he’ll be long gone onto the next lie.
Another doozie Bibi unloaded on the reporters was that Israel was approaching a “new diplomatic horizon.” By which he appeared to mean that with all the Mideast terror going on, Arab and even western states like the UK were opening their eyes to the threats posed by ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, etc. This offered an opportunity for Israel to change the script from harping on dead Gazan babies to rabid jihadi executioners. Those are far better optics for Israel on the world stage. So imagine a Grand Alliance of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Iraqi Kurds, and Egypt uniting forces against Iran and the above jihadi groups. It’s enough to bring tears to the eyes of any red-blooded Likudist!
But of course this scenario is totally delusional. While the world IS horrified by ISIS atrocities, it isn’t stupid enough to buy the package deal Bibi offers. Israel’s actions will be judged on their own terms and not in the context of ISIS or other Islamist extremists.