Monday, December 29, 2008

How Israel tricked Hamas before launching Gaza strikes

Abraham Rabinovich
The Australian
Monday, Dec 29, 2008

A SEEMINGLY offhand report on Israel Radio that the Cabinet would meet over the weekend to plan a military operation in the Gaza Strip was a feint, which set up Hamas for Israel’s surprise strike.

The radio report, on Friday, was a final move in six months of planning and deception leading up to the strikes, The Australian reported.

Suggestions in the report that Israel had yet to finish attack plans persuaded the Hamas leadership it had at least until yesterday before taking precautions against an air raid that it had every reason to believe was coming.

After a five-hour Cabinet meeting on Friday, Hamas had mocked the government “that holds meetings to discuss decisions to take to stop the rockets” while militants “bombard with dozens of mortars and rockets”.

A large group of Hamas security staff completing an officers’ training course were outdoors at their base just before noon on Saturday, standing in formation at a graduation ceremony, when the planes struck, killing and wounding many of them.

(Full article)