A specialist in Israeli affairs has ruled out a major Israeli military operation against the Gaza Strip similar to Operation Cast Lead in 2008-9. Barhoum Gracie said that through his attacks on Gaza Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to divert the attention of the Israeli public in the run-up to the general election as his domestic and economic policies have had a negative impact on the poorer segments of Israeli society to the benefit of the rich and businesses.
Speaking to Quds Press, Gracie added, however, that a large-scale move against the Palestinian people has not been excluded, as war and aggression has always been at the top of the Israeli governments' agenda, particularly the extreme right-wing coalition government led by Netanyahu.
According to the analyst there are no signs that Netanyahu intends to wage another war against the civilian population in the Gaza Strip. He prefers a policy based on an escalation of assassinations without his soldiers having to enter Gaza, said Gracie. He will also maintain the blockade of the territory and try to prevent any contacts with the outside world, including the occupied West Bank.
Netanyahu, claims Gracie, takes pride in the fact that his government has not gone to open war during his current term of office, and that his policy against Gaza has achieved, in his estimation, many results beneficial to Israel.
The Israeli affairs specialist explained that civil society organisations in Israel have stopped their protests against Netanyahu's economic and social policies in solidarity with the settlers in the south of the country adjacent to the Gaza Strip. The area has been subject to missile attacks in response to the wave of killings and assassinations of Palestinians by the Israelis.
Gracie noted that Netanyahu's policy includes making his ongoing threats against Iran and creating a state of terror in the minds of ordinary Israelis. The Prime Minister's policies, he believes, are designed to drive the Palestinian cause off the international agenda, something that Netanyahu thinks he has achieved for the first time in over two decades.