Last Saturday, the world looked on as the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas movement, launched Operation Al-Asqa Flood, the largest military incursion into the state of Israel since the 1973 October War, the 50th anniversary of which had occurred just one day beforehand.
Though lauded by many as a legitimate military response to the Israeli occupation, many could also not help but wonder at how Israel, an entity possessing state of the art surveillance equipment and which receives annual funding from the United States to the tune of billions of dollars, could seemingly be ‘taken by surprise’ by militant Palestinian groups to such a devastating extent.
Suspicions were further aroused when it emerged that Universal Paralello, the electronic music event held on the border of Gaza and which has been the focus of global media attention following the Palestinian incursion, had only changed its location two days beforehand following the falling through of a site in southern Israel near the Egyptian border.
The idea that there were no serious insurance or security concerns over the holding of a music festival on the border of a location where violent clashes between the Al-Quds Brigades and Israeli Forces had taken place only last Summer, is simply unfathomable.
Less than 48 hours following the commencement of Operation Al-Asqa Flood, the Associated Press also carried a report citing an unnamed Egyptian intelligence official who had claimed that Cairo had repeatedly warned Tel Aviv that an escalation was imminent, warnings that seemingly went unheeded. Two separate reports on Friday, one from the New York Times and one from CNN, both outlining warnings given by US intelligence officials to Israel in the days prior to the attacks that Hamas was preparing a large-scale operation, appear to corroborate the idea that Israel had foreknowledge of what was about to take place.
The first question that comes to mind, is to what benefit it would it be to the Israelis to allow such a devastating attack to occur?
Saving the political career of Benjamin Netanyahu, currently mired in a corruption scandal, would be a theory that appears to not have any grounding, with opinion polls following Al-Asqa Flood appearing to indicate that the exact opposite will occur.