The Invasion of Gaza: "Operation Cast Lead", Part of a Broader Israeli Military-Intelligence Agenda
The aerial bombings and the ongoing invasion of Gaza by Israeli ground forces must be analysed in a historical context. Operation "Cast Lead" is a carefully planned undertaking, which is part of a broader military-intelligence agenda first formulated in 2001:
It was Israel which broke the truce on the day of the US presidential elections, November 4:
Planned Humanitarian Disaster
"Operation Cast Lead" was initiated two days day after Christmas. It was coupled with a carefully designed international Public Relations campaign under the auspices of Israel's Foreign Ministry.
Hamas' military targets are not the main objective. Operation "Cast Lead" is intended, quite deliberately, to trigger civilian casualities.
What we are dealing with is a "planned humanitarian disaster" in Gaza.
"Operation Justified Vengeance"
A turning point has been reached. Operation "Cast Lead" is part of the broader military-intelligence operation initiated at the outset the Ariel Sharon government in 2001. It was under Sharon's "Operation Justified Vengeance" that F-16 fighter planes were initially used to bomb Palestinian cities.
"Operation Justified Vengeance" was presented in July 2001 to the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon by IDF chief of staff Shaul Mofaz, under the title "The Destruction of the Palestinian Authority and Disarmament of All Armed Forces".
According to Jane's 'Foreign Report' (July 12, 2001) the Israeli army under Sharon had updated its plans for an "all-out assault to smash the Palestinian authority, force out leader Yasser Arafat and kill or detain its army".
The "Bloodshed Justification" was an essential component of the military-intelligence agenda. The killing of Palestinian civilians was justified on "humanitarian grounds." Israeli military operations were carefully timed to coincide with the suicide attacks:
The Dagan Plan
"Operation Justified Vengeance" was also referred to as the "Dagan Plan", named after General (ret.) Meir Dagan, who currently heads Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency.
Reserve General Meir Dagan was Sharon's national security adviser during the 2000 election campaign. The plan was apparently drawn up prior to Sharon’s election as Prime Minister in February 2001. "According to Alex Fishman writing in Yediot Aharonot, the Dagan Plan consisted in destroying the Palestinian authority and putting Yasser Arafat 'out of the game'." (Ellis Shulman, "Operation Justified Vengeance": a Secret Plan to Destroy the Palestinian Authority, March 2001):
The "Dagan Plan" envisaged the so-called "cantonization" of the Palestinian territories whereby the West Bank and Gaza would be totally cut off from one other, with separate "governments" in each of the territories. Under this scenario, already envisaged in 2001, Israel would:
The Dagan Plan has established continuity in the military-intelligence agenda. In the wake of the 2000 elections, Meir Dagan was assigned a key role. "He became Sharon’s "go-between" in security issues with President’s Bush’s special envoys Zinni and Mitchell." He was subsequently appointed Director of the Mossad by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in August 2002. In the post-Sharon period, he remained head of Mossad. He was reconfirmed in his position as Director of Israeli Intelligence by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in June 2008.
Meir Dagan, in coordination with his US counterparts, has been in charge of various military-intelligence operations. It is worth noting that Meir Dagan as a young Colonel had worked closely with defense minister Ariel Sharon in the raids on Palestinian settlements in Beirut in 1982. The 2008-2009 raids into Gaza, in many regards, bear a canny resemblance to the 1982 military operation.
It is important to focus on a number of key events which have led up to the killings in Gaza under "Operation Cast Lead":
1. The assassination in November 2004 of Yaser Arafat. This assassination had been on the drawing board since 1996 under "Operation Fields of Thorns". According to an October 2000 document "prepared by the security services, at the request of then Prime Minister Ehud Barak, stated that 'Arafat, the person, is a severe threat to the security of the state [of Israel] and the damage which will result from his disappearance is less than the damage caused by his existence'". (Tanya Reinhart, Evil Unleashed, Israel's move to destroy the Palestinian Authority is a calculated plan, long in the making, Global Research, December 2001. Details of the document were published in Ma'ariv, July 6, 2001.).
Arafat's assassination was ordered in 2003 by the Israeli cabinet. It was approved by the US which vetoed a United Nations Security Resolution condemning the 2003 Israeli Cabinet decision. Reacting to increased Palestinian attacks, in August 2003, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz declared "all out war" on the militants whom he vowed "marked for death."
The assassination of Arafat was part of the 2001 Dagan Plan. In all likelihood, it was carried out by Israeli Intelligence. It was intended to destroy the Palestinian Authority, foment divisions within Fatah as well as between Fatah and Hamas. Mahmoud Abbas was installed as leader of Fatah, with the approval of Israel.
2. The removal, under the orders of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2005, of all Jewish settlements in Gaza. A Jewish population of over 7,000 were relocated.
The issue of the settlements in Gaza was presented as part of Washington's "road map to peace". Celebrated by the Palestinians as a "victory", this measure was not directed against the Jewish settlers. Quite the opposite: It was part of the overall covert operation, which consisted in transforming Gaza into a concentration camp. As long as Jewish settlers were living inside Gaza, the objective of sustaining a large barricaded prison territory could not be achieved. The Implementation of "Operation Cast Lead" required "no Jews in Gaza".
3. The building of the infamous Apartheid Wall was decided upon at the beginning of the Sharon government.
4. The next phase was the Hamas election victory in January 2006. Without Arafat, the Israeli military-intelligence architects knew that Fatah under Mahmoud Abbas would loose the elections. This was part of the scenario, which had been envisaged and analyzed well in advance.
On January 3, Israeli tanks and infantry entered Gaza in an all out ground offensive:
Israeli sources have pointed to a lengthy drawn out military operation. It "won't be easy and it won't be short," said Defense Minister Ehud Barak in a TV address.
Israel is not seeking to oblige Hamas "to cooperate". What we are dealing with is the implementation of the "Dagan Plan" as initially formulated in 2001, which called for:
The broader question is whether Israel in consultation with Washington is intent upon triggering a wider war.
Global Research Articles by Michel Chossudovsky