At this point in the conflict figuring out who is responding to whom is like trying to figure out which came first, the chicken or the egg. (That’s a metaphor. I don’t want to start a discussion on chickens and eggs.)
What brings this thought to mind is The Real News Network interview Is Israeli Public Opinion Turning after 700 Palestinian Deaths? The following quote is what struck me:
TARACHANSKY: Well, I have to remind our viewers a little bit of the timeline of this escalation, this little war. Israel has been bombing the Gaza Strip throughout its entire operation “bring back our boys” in the West Bank. So while they were looking for those who kidnapped these three teenagers in the West Bank, they began bombing Gaza intensely for two weeks, long before the war ever started.
By the time Hamas actually decided to respond, two weeks had passed.
I decided to do a little useless research to see if this statement could be corroborated. I label the research as useless because no matter what I find it won’t change anybody’s attitude about anything. So the rest of this story is only for people with useless, idle curiosity.
To put a meaning and a date to “bring back our boys”, I found The Jerusalem Post has the June 14, 2014 article ‘Bring Back Our Boys’ campaign inspires hope.
Launched by the University of Haifa Ambassadors Network, the hashtag #BringBackOurBoys has gone viral, receiving up to 2,800 tweets per hour according to hashtag.org, a media analytics website.
From the article, I infer the kidnapping occurred Thursday night, June 12, 2014.
Then I tried to pinpoint Israel’s first attack on Gaza in this latest series. I found the July 1, 2014 Reuters article Israel bombs Gaza sites hours after bodies of Israeli teens found.
What is the connection between the Gaza bombing and the kidnapping of the three Israeli boys in the West Bank? Here is one interpretation.
New York Magazine has the article It Turns Out Hamas Didn’t Kidnap and Kill the 3 Israeli Teens After All [Updated]
Israeli police Mickey Rosenfeld tells me men who killed 3 Israeli teens def lone cell, hamas affiliated but not operating under leadership. Seems to contradict the line from Netanyahu government.
Israeli police spokes Mickey Rosenfeld also said if kidnapping had been ordered by Hamas leadership, they’d have known about it in advance.
The Daily Star in Lebanon has the article Hamas not complicit in teens’ kidnap: Israeli police July 26.
BEIRUT: The Israeli Police Foreign Press Spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, appears to have falsified the Israeli government’s claim that Hamas was responsible for the killing of three Israeli settler teens in June, by saying responsibility lies with a lone cell that operated without the complicity of Hamas’ leadership.
At the time Israeli authorities placed the blame squarely on Hamas, with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu saying “They were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by animals in human form. Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay.”Friday however, there appeared to be break in the official line when BBC journalist Jon Donnison tweeted a series of statements he attributed to the Israeli Police Foreign Press Spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld.
Jon Donnison is the source of the quote in The New York Magazine quote above. So the blame on Gaza seems to have come from the mouth of Benyamin Netantahu. The first retaliation on Gaza for the act that they did not commit came no later than July 1, 2014.
When did the rocket attacks from Gaza start? The history of rocket attacks is documented on a blog site idfblog, in the article Rocket Attacks on Israel From the Gaza Strip. Whether or not this site is an authoritative site from the Israeli Defense Force or not, I have not researched.
Wikipedia has List of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel, 2014. Since there are rockets from Gaza off and on almost daily, you have to interpret the data to decide when the retaliation might have started. I’d say the escalation began around July 7 with 80 attacks. The source for the number 80 is a retweet from “IDFSpokesperson”. I think the 80 actually happened on July 6 according to the retweet.
If you believe any of this, then it seems that the Gaza rocket attack starting on July 6 is a retaliation for an Israeli bombing of Gaza no later than July 1. So, if you believe this, does it make any difference to you? No, I thought not.