Many in the besieged Gaza Strip question whether the timing of the Israeli attack is really unrelated to the planned general elections in the country on January 22.
Palestinian commentators claim that the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to launch a military operation on Gaza this close before the campaigns was made to guarantee his triumph in the parliamentary elections, assuming that a clash in the besieged strip would be a quick and rather easy victory for Israel.
“After a series of economical and social failures during his time as the Prime Minister of Israel, Netanyahu seems to be on a desperate search for victory,” said Dr. Hanny Al Basoos, a professor at the Islamic University Gaza and political analyst specialized in Israeli politics.
“With his obvious pledge to retaliate harshly against Hamas, it appears as though he is convinced that his party will gather additional votes from the extremists by the assassination of Ahmed Al Jabaari, the Hamas military commander of the Al Qassam brigades,” he added.
As Israel threatens to commence a ground operation similar to the three-week armed conflict in 2008-2009, fear of even further escalation, with more civilian casualties to follow, is growing in Gaza.
Despite the mounting number of Palestinian casualties, the performance of several militant groups in Gaza Strip appears to have surprised the Israeli administration. Hamas has proven to be politically and militarily stronger than in 2008 2009, when the Israeli army took over Gaza.
For the very first time, Fajar rockets and 700 other rockets and projectiles have been launched from Gaza towards Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The Ez Al Den Al Qassam brigades have also launched an anti aircraft missile towards an Israeli air jet.
The spokesman of Saraya Al Quds, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement, Abu Ahmed said: “There are still many surprises awaiting the Israelis. As long as the Israelis insist on their offensive, we will always be ready.”
Dr. Al Bassos added: “If Netanyahu had known that the Palestinian resistant would fight back this strong, he wouldn’t have taken such a move as to attack the small besieged Gaza Strip, making him lose on many political levels.”
Rana E. Manna, a Palestinian-Canadian, is Your Middle East’s Gaza correspondent.