Matt Hill: Who Really Started the Fighting in Gaza? It Depends How Far Back You Want To Go
Matt Hill is a British journalist.
Partisans of the Israel-Palestine conflict – and it often seems everyone’s a partisan of one side or the other – know exactly who to blame for the fighting now in its sixth day. The other guy, of course.
But the bombs dropping on Gaza and southern Israel haven’t fallen out of a clear blue sky. So what happens if we trace events backwards and try to answer, as objectively as possible, the obvious question: who started it?
The latest phase of fighting started on 14 November when Israel assassinated the Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari. A day earlier, Hamas was touting a truce offer, but only after two days of fighting which saw over a hundred missiles launched into Israel and Gaza coming under attack by warplanes, drones and artillery.
These exchanges were preceded on 10 November by the injury of two IDF soldiers, hit by an anti-tank missile as they patrolled outside the Strip, and the deaths of at least five Palestinians and the injury of dozens more when Israel responded with shelling and air strikes.
And these incidents, in turn, were sparked by the killing of a 13-year-old Palestinian boy who was caught in the crossfire of a gun battle between the IDF and Palestinian militants on 8 November.
We could go back further...
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