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- Part of a Broader Israeli Military-Intelligence Agenda
The aerial bombings and the ongoing ground 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 by the government of Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001:
"Sources in the defense establishment said Defense Minister Ehud Barak
instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare for the operation over
six months ago, even as Israel was beginning to negotiate a ceasefire
agreement with Hamas."(Barak Ravid, Operation "Cast Lead": Israeli Air
Force strike followed months of planning, Haaretz, December 27, 2008)
It was Israel which broke the truce on the day of the US presidential
elections, November 4:
"Israel used this distraction to break the ceasefire between itself and
Hamas by bombing the Gaza strip. Israel claimed this violation of the
ceasefire was to prevent Hamas from digging tunnels into Israeli
The very next day, Israel launched a terrorizing siege of Gaza, cutting
off food, fuel, medical supplies and other necessities in an attempt to
“subdue” the Palestinians while at the same time engaging in armed
In response, Hamas and others in Gaza again resorted to firing crude,
homemade, and mainly inaccurate rockets into Israel. During the past
seven years, these rockets have been responsible for the deaths of 17
Israelis. Over the same time span, Israeli Blitzkrieg assaults have
killed thousands of Palestinians, drawing worldwide protest but falling
on deaf ears at the UN." (Shamus Cooke, The Massacre in Palestine and
the Threat of a Wider War, Global Research, December 2008)
Planned Humanitarian Disaster
On December 8, US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte was in Tel
Aviv for discussions with his Israeli counterparts including the
director of Mossad, Meir Dagan.
"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 in
a densly populated urban area. (See map below)
The longer term objective of this plan, as formulated by Israeli policy
makers, is the expulsion of Palestinians from Palestinian lands:
"Terrorize the civilian population, assuring maximal destruction of
property and cultural resources... The daily life of the Palestinians
must be rendered unbearable: They should be locked up in cities and
towns, prevented from exercising normal economic life, cut off from
workplaces, schools and hospitals, This will encourage emigration and
weaken the resistance to future expulsions" Ur Shlonsky, quoted by Ghali
Hassan, Gaza: The World’s Largest Prison, Global Research, 2005)
"Operation Justified Vengeance"
A turning point has been reached. Operation "Cast Lead" is part of the
broader military-intelligence operation initiated at the outset of 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".
"A contingency plan, codenamed Operation Justified Vengeance, was drawn
up last June  to reoccupy all of the West Bank and possibly the
Gaza Strip at a likely cost of "hundreds" of Israeli casualties."
(Washington Times, 19 March 2002).
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
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 assault would be launched, at the government's discretion, after a
big suicide bomb attack in Israel, causing widespread deaths and
injuries, citing the bloodshed as justification. (Tanya Reinhart, Evil
Unleashed, Israel's move to destroy the Palestinian Authority is a
calculated plan, long in the making, Global Research, December 2001,
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):
"As reported in the Foreign Report [Jane] and disclosed locally by
Maariv, Israel's invasion plan — reportedly dubbed Justified Vengeance —
would be launched immediately following the next high-casualty suicide
bombing, would last about a month and is expected to result in the death
of hundreds of Israelis and thousands of Palestinians. (Ibid, emphasis
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
"negotiate separately with Palestinian forces that are dominant in each
territory-Palestinian forces responsible for security, intelligence, and
even for the Tanzim (Fatah)." The plan thus closely resembles the idea
of "cantonization" of Palestinian territories, put forth by a number of
ministers." Sylvain Cypel, The infamous 'Dagan Plan' Sharon's plan for
getting rid of Arafat, Le Monde, December 17, 2001)
From Left to Right: Dagan, Sharon, Halevy
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 2009 ground invasion of Gaza, in many regards, bear a canny
resemblance to the 1982 military operation led by Sharon and Dagan.
Continuity: From Sharon to Olmert
Olmert and Sharon
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
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
"In mid September, Israel's government passed a law to get rid of
Arafat. Israel's cabinet for political security affairs declared it "a
decision to remove Arafat as an obstacle to peace." Mofaz threatened; "we
will choose the right way and the right time to kill Arafat."
Palestinian Minister Saeb Erekat told CNN he thought Arafat was the next
target. CNN asked Sharon spokesman Ra'anan Gissan if the vote meant
expulsion of Arafat. Gissan clarified; "It doesn't mean that. The
Cabinet has today resolved to remove this obstacle. The time, the method,
the ways by which this will take place will be decided separately, and
the security services will monitor the situation and make the
recommendation about proper action." (See Trish Shuh, Road Map for a
Decease Plan, www.mehrnews.com November 9 2005
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 is a Palestinian quisling.
He was installed as leader of Fatah, with the approval of Israel and the
US, which finance the Palestinian Authority's paramilitary and security
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 was
"It is my intention [Sharon] to carry out an evacuation – sorry, a
relocation – of settlements that cause us problems and of places that we
will not hold onto anyway in a final settlement, like the Gaza
settlements.... I am working on the assumption that in the future there
will be no Jews in Gaza," Sharon said." (CBC, March 2004)
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. (See Map below).
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.
With Hamas in charge of the Palestinian authority, using the pretext
that Hamas is a terrorist organization, Israel would carry out the
process of "cantonization" as formulated under the Dagan plan. Fatah
under Mahmoud Abbas would remain formally in charge of the West Bank.
The duly elected Hamas government would be confined to the Gaza strip.
On January 3, Israeli tanks and infantry entered Gaza in an all out
"The ground operation was preceded by several hours of heavy artillery
fire after dark, igniting targets in flames that burst into the night
sky. Machine gun fire rattled as bright tracer rounds flashed through
the darkness and the crash of hundreds of shells sent up streaks of fire.
(AP, January 3, 2009)
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:
"an invasion of Palestinian-controlled territory by some 30,000 Israeli
soldiers, with the clearly defined mission of destroying the
infrastructure of the Palestinian leadership and collecting weaponry
currently possessed by the various Palestinian forces, and expelling or
killing its military leadership. (Ellis Shulman, op cit, emphasis added)
The broader question is whether Israel in consultation with Washington
is intent upon triggering a wider war.
Mass expulsion could occur at some later stage of the ground invasion,
were the Israelis to open up Gaza's borders to allow for an exodus of
population. Expulsion was referred to by Ariel Sharon as the "a 1948
style solution". For Sharon "it is only necessary to find another state
for the Palestinians. -'Jordan is Palestine' - was the phrase that
Sharon coined." (Tanya Reinhart, op cit)