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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 17/11/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) THE ISRAELI onslaught on Gaza is yet another episode of shamelessness. Tel Aviv's trigger-happy adventurism has always been a curse for a region that had lived on the edges of volatility.
This new stint of barbarism that has claimed dozens of lives over the last two days is likely to draw retaliatory fire from Hamas and the like.

The Palestinian politico-military outfit has already vowed to revenge the death of its military chief Ahmed Al Jaabari, who was targetted by Israeli warplanes in the Gaza. This stepping up of ante from both the sides, as is evident from the exchange of missiles, comes with the fear of a complete Israeli invasion of the besieged enclave.

It, however, remains unclear as to what prompted Israel to indulge in warfare, especially at a time when the region is experiencing upheavals. Attacking and destroying 130 targets within a span of few hours is no less than a declaration of war against the dispossessed nation.

This episode of jingoism has gathered significance with the stepping in of Egypt in the duel. Cairo's unconditional support to the cause of Palestinians, and its resolve to liberate the besieged Gaza enclave from Israel's neo-colonialism has been a corner stone of its foreign policy.

The Arab Spring has just furthered that desire, prompting Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi to lift border blockades from Gaza and enabling the Palestinian to cross into Egypt without any qualms. Perhaps this is why Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil made it a point to drive deep into Gaza, and declare Israeli transgressions as an aggression.

To what extent is Cairo willing to weather the storm in deterring the undeclared war is difficult to guess. But history will repeat if Egypt, Jordan and many other Arab countries come out with a joint proposition against Israel, and make liberation of Gaza their common denominator.

Israel has no choice but to step back from the brink. Its crime list against the Palestinians, and especially Gazans, is well documented. The prima facie reason behind Israel's new thrust into Gaza seems to elicit political capital on the eve of polls.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should realise that he has enough of blood on his hands if the attack on Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara, the killings of over 15,000 Gazans in 2008 and cold-blooded murder of US peace activist Rachel Corrie are any criterion.

This new phase of brinkmanship hasn't served any purpose. Israel can impress the world, and its neighbours, in a better way by walking out of Gaza in all humility.

 






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