A week ago, administrative detainee Khader Adnan died after a hunger strike that lasted 86 days. Islamic Jihad responded with a mortar and rocket barrage at ‘Israel’, which retaliated with a massive attack. It all followed a long-established routine in what has come to be known as a “round of violence.” It begins with an “initial” incident, moves on to a series of tit-for-tat responses and eventually comes to an end.
However, this time the Israeli occupation government was severely criticized by some of the public and many politicians for its “weak response,” “disgraceful policy of containment” and failure to crush the “Palestinian resistance infrastructure” when it had a chance, haartez reported.
A government of the right that tacks toward the extremes was suddenly seen to be wretched and spineless, even weaker than the “leftist” government that preceded it. The one who was the fastest to understand how serious the damage was to the government’s image was one of its most senior figures, Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.
He not only demanded that he be part of the security deliberations that he has not been invited to join but that the occupation government act more aggressively, to dispense with that awful policy of “restraint” and strike the leaders of the Palestinian organizations.
Ben-Gvir was not content with using inflammatory rhetoric. He boycotted the cabinet and Knesset, threatening coalition integrity and even risking the collapse of the government altogether, just as the Knesset vote on the budget is approaching.
Ben-Gvir’s threats made it clear to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the last “round” of fighting was in need of a correction.
Accordingly, the Israeli Occupation Forces and the Shin Bet security service were asked to come up with some proposals, which resulted in a decision to assassinate three top Islamic Jihad officials.
However, the decision resulted in the deaths of 10 innocent people, including women and children.
Assassinations have been carried out dozens of times, but opinions differ on how much they achieve prolonged calm or deterrence.
The attorney general approved the operation without Israeli cabinet approval but should have based their decision on a true and honest assessment.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now needs to rise above political maneuvering and avoid being drawn into a lengthy conflict to suppress protests against him and ensure his coalition’s survival.