You can read about the ongoing massacre at IMEMC.org. At the same site, there is a good analysis by Ghassan Andoni, one of the founders of the International Solidarity Movement and a columnist at IMEMC on the aims of this “Days of Penitence” operation. (For some analysis from the Israeli side, check Uri Avnery’s or Gideon Levy’s recent work. For some reporting, check out Rafah Today’s Mohammed Omer).
Andoni provides the simplest and most concise explanation of Sharon’s ‘strategy’, and it is the same ‘strategy’ Sharon has always used: commit shocking acts of violence against Palestinians, and the population and the United States will follow you. Quoting him:
Building on past experience, military attacks that result in massive bloodshed have always achieved an end to all initiatives introduced to reduce the level of violence and pave the way for diplomatic negotiations.
Such offensives have consistently triggered revenge attacks and have escalated the endless cycle of violence in the region.
Operation “Days of Penitence” has no doubt alienated the internationally backed Egyptian efforts to bring about a coordinated disengagement that could serve as a step towards implementing the road map peace initiative.
Dov Weisglass, one of Sharon’s top aides, explained it best in an interview in Ha’aretz, where he described the significance of Sharon’s “disengagement from Gaza plan”:
“The significance is the freezing of the political process. And when you freeze that process you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state and you prevent a discussion about the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package that is called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed from our agenda indefinitely. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress. What more could have been anticipated? What more could have been given to the settlers?”
It is not just the Israeli army is killing a Palestinian every three hours, or that hundreds of children are in Israeli jails, or that virtually all the children in the territories are starving or on the verge of starving, or that houses and farms and livelihoods and lives are being systematically demolished. Beyond that, Israel and the US are very systematically working to ensure that there can be no decent peace at the end of this murderous, dirty “war”.