“Other critics have speculated that the kidnappings were a false flag set-up by Israel on their own countrymen in order to weaken and de-ligitimize the new Palestinian unity government between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which is heavily opposed by Netanyahu. “
Israel has authorized calling 40,000 reserve troops for active ground duty as the government considers a ground invasion of Gaza.
Israel has been bombing Gaza since June 29th in heavy airstrikes, in response to rockets shot across the border by Hamas. Israel is vowing to stamp out rocket attacks with more bombs and has ruled out a cease-fire at this time.
Here is a synopsis of how this current mess got started:
Three Israeli teenage boys were reported kidnapped on June 12, 2014 in the West Bank. Their bodies were discovered on June 30th. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately blamed Hamas, even though the incident occurred near the West Bank which is governed by the Palestinian Authority (PA), not Hamas. Hamas operates in Gaza.
Netanyahu said that Hamas would pay. Hamas denied the charges of kidnapping the boys. Israel has failed to present specific evidence against Hamas.
There was no strategic benefit for Hamas to kill the three Israeli boys.
Israel censored the media from reporting on a phone call from the boys the night that they went missing.
Israeli police received a phone call from 16-year-old Gilad Shaar, one of the kidnapped boys, on June 12th. The call was recorded and gunshots could be heard in the background after the abductor told them to put their heads down. The police claim that they thought the call was a prank.
Why would Israel ban the media from reporting on the phone call that indicated the boys were dead?
Critics say that Israel used the opportunity over the next 18 days before the bodies were discovered to arrest more than 400 Palestinians and to conduct aggressive searches on 1300 sites, including homes in the West Bank. Five Palestinians were reported to have been killed during the search operation.
Other critics have speculated that the kidnappings were a false flag set-up by Israel on their own countrymen in order to weaken and de-ligitimize the new Palestinian unity government between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which is heavily opposed by Netanyahu.
Researcher Dr. Kevin Barrett says that Israeli Mossad chief Tamir Pardo made a prediction ten days before the three boys went missing, using a scenario about how three 14-year old girls could be kidnapped.
Here is Pardo’s comment, in context (from Haaretz):
Ten days ago, at a security cabinet meeting, Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo outlined a scenario spookily similar to the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens missing since Thursday night.
The meeting dealt with the report of the Shamgar Committee on prisoner exchanges and on the Habayit Hayehudi bill that prohibits granting pardons to terrorists.
Pardo, along with other defense establishment officials present, tried to convince the ministers not to advance the bill. He was against it because it would limit the government’s room for maneuver in future abduction cases, would keep its hands tied, and prevent it from considering other solutions for dealing with a potential crisis.
Pardo gave as an example the kidnapping of the 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria by the militant group Boko Haram. He addressed Economy Minister Nafatali Bennett, whose party promoted the bill, and used it to draw a comparison of something that could happen in Israel in the future.
“What will you do if in a week three 14-year-old girls will be kidnapped from one of the settlements?,” he asked. “Will you say there is a law, and we don’t release terrorists?”
The clash escalated further when a 16-year old Palestinian boy was killed on July 2nd, in what is believed to be a revenge killing. According to the autopsy, the boy was burned alive. He had burns over 90% of his body and smoke in his lungs, indicating that he was still alive when he was burned.
Prime Minister Netanyahu condemned the murder of the Palestinian boy and authorized the arrest of six Israeli suspects, who range in age from 16 to 25.
The father of the dead Palestinian boy believes the arrests were made in response to international pressure.
Many Israelis were shocked at the brutality of the extremist elements (some of the settlers) within their own society.
Adding more fuel to the fire, Israeli forces were filmed beating a 15-year old American boy of Palestinian descent who was attending the funeral of his cousin, the Palestinian teen who was burned alive. Israeli police claim that the American boy attacked them and was resisting arrest; they say that the video of the beating was heavily edited and altered.
Hamas responded to the arrests and deaths of Palestinians by launching rockets into Israel, but it is massively outgunned by Israel and will only suffer.