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 Editor in chief: 
Abdus Sattar Ghazali

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August 3, 2014

Gaza Onslaught Joint Arab-Israeli War against Palestinians

By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

On August 3, 2014, at  least 30 people were killed in Israeli shelling in the Gaza Strip taking the Palestinian toll to 1,712, with more than 9,000 wounded. The dead, in the 25-day Israeli massacre of Palestinians, included 398 children, 207 women and 74 elderly people, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza.

The Lebanese TV network Al-Manar has reported that the Israeli attack on Gaza is a "joint Arab-Israeli war against the Palestinians."  Al Manar reproduced a CNN report which quoted an analyst,  Ali Younes as saying: "Most Arab states are actively supporting Israel against the Palestinians -- and not even shy about it or doing it discreetly."

Ali Younes, who has covered the region for decades,  described the war in Gaza as “unprecedented in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It's a "joint Arab-Israeli war consisting of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia against other Arabs -- the Palestinians as represented by Hamas,” Younes said.

One of the outcomes of the fighting will likely be "the end of the old Arab alliance system that has, even nominally, supported the Palestinians and their goal of establishing a Palestinian state," the analyst added.

"From the perspective of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UAE and some other Arab states, what the Israeli Prime Minister is doing is fighting this war against Hamas on their behalf so they can finish the last stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood," Younes noted.

Saudi Arabia is "leading the charge," partly through backing the coup and financing state media reports that attacked the Brotherhood, Younes said adding: "Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE all see the destruction of Hamas as of benefit to their internal security as well as to regional stability."

The American channel quoted other analysts as saying that Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood. "The Muslim Brotherhood is international, with affiliated groups in more than 70 countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE," said Eric Trager of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Going to Egypt, it is a “regime that came to power by toppling a Muslim Brotherhood government," said Trager. "It's therefore in an existential conflict with the Brotherhood. So it doesn't want to see Hamas, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, emerge stronger in a neighboring territory."

"Israel's ongoing battle against Hamas is part of a wider regional war on the Muslim Brotherhood," said the Soufan Group, which tracks global security. "Most Arab states share Israel's determination to finish the movement off once and for all, but they are unlikely to be successful."

Danielle Pletka, vice president of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, told the CNN that the “Israel-Hamas conflict has laid bare the new divides of the Middle East.”"It's no longer the Muslims against the Jews. Now it's the extremists -- the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, and their backers Iran, Qatar and Turkey -- against Israel and the more moderate Muslims including Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia."

Countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE are "challenged by Islamists who come to power via the ballot box rather than through royal succession," the CNN quoted Trager as saying. "So these countries have been directly supportive of the coup in Egypt because it removed elected Islamists and therefore discredited that model."

Hamas rejected ceaefire

Hamas last month rejected an Egyptian proposed ceasefire which envisaged end of Hamas rule in Gaza. Hamas describe it as "not in the best interests of the Palestinian people." Not surprisingly, Israel and the PA accepted this proposal.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, a key element of the Egyptian initiative is the return of Pro-Israel President Mohammad Abbas's Palestinian Authority to Gaza, which is now ruled by Hamas after winning elections in 2006.

Egypt told Hamas that any opening of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt would entail the return of Abbas's presidential guard with no Hamas men present, the Guardian quoted a senior Palestinian official as saying.

Hamas's conditions for a ceasefire include "an end to aggression against the Palestinian people", lifting the blockade on the territory and opening the Rafah crossing; freedom of movement for Palestinians in the area bordering Israel, freeing prisoners rearrested after being exchanged for a seized Israeli soldier, and extending the territory's fishing zone.

It is argued that Israeli all-out assault on Gaza was not be possible without a military coup in Egypt. The Israeli massacre of Palestinians came after one year the military coup of July 3, 2013 when Egypt's first democratically elected President Mohammad Morsi was imprisoned by the military junta led by General Abdel Fattah Sisi.

The regime of General Sisi, who has declared himself as Field Marshal, has declared the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organization. Similarly the Egyptian regime has also declared Hamas as terrorist organization and like the Muslim Brotherhood supporters, Hamas supporter have been arrested. Thousands of MB supporters are in prisons while hundreds have been sentenced to death.

Tellingly, Azza Sami of the Egyptian semi-official newspaper Al-Ahram, commenting of the Israeli massacre of Palestinians said: "Thank you Netanyahu and may God give us more [people] like you to destroy Hamas!" This change in Egyptian sentiments was possible only after the overthrow of the elected government of President Morsi.

It is obvious why President Morsi was imprisoned? President Morsi was not pro-Israel and pro-US like his predecessors, President Hosni Mubarak and President Anwar Sadat.

In contrast to imprisoned President Mohamed Morsi, a staunch backer of Hamas, Egypt’s new military government dealt a crippling blow to the organization by demolishing hundreds of the tunnels used to bring goods into Gaza, which has been under Israeli and Egyptian blockade since 2006.

Following the Egyptian lead, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have also banned the Muslim Brotherhood.

Attack on Gaza by Saudi Royal Appointment

According to David Hearst,  Editor of Middle East Eye, there are many hands behind the Israeli army's onslaught on Gaza. His article titled: Attack on Gaza by Saudi Royal Appointment, in Huffington Post, gives deep insight into the Saudi-Israeli growing relations at the expense of Palestinians. David Hearst writes:

"The attack on Gaza comes by Saudi Royal Appointment. This royal warrant is nothing less than an open secret in Israel, and both former and serving defense officials are relaxed when they talk about it. Former Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz surprised the presenter on Channel 10 by saying Israel had to specify a role for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the demilitarization of Hamas. Asked what he meant by that, he added that Saudi and Emirati funds should be used to rebuild Gaza after Hamas had been defanged.

"Amos Gilad, the Israeli defense establishment's point man with Mubarak's Egypt and now director of the Israeli defense ministry's policy and political-military relations department told the academic James Dorsey recently : "Everything is underground, nothing is public. But our security cooperation with Egypt and the Gulf states is unique. This is the best period of security and diplomatic relations with the Arab.".......

"Mossad and Saudi intelligence officials meet regularly: The two sides conferred when the former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi was about to be deposed in Egypt and they are hand in glove on Iran, both in preparing for an Israel strike over Saudi airspace and in sabotaging the existing nuclear program. There has even been a well sourced claim that the Saudis are financing most of Israel's very expensive campaign against Iran....

" The difference today is that for the first time in their two countries' history, there is open co-ordination between the two military powers. Abdullah's nephew Prince Turki has been the public face of this rapprochement, which was first signaled by the Saudi publication of a book by an Israeli academic. The prince flew to Brussels in May to meet General Amos Yadlin, the former intelligence chief who has been indicted by a court in Turkey for his role in the storming of the Mavi Marmara...."

David Hearst concludes his article with these harsh remarks:

"Peace would indeed be welcome to everyone, not least Gaza at the moment. The means by which Israel's allies in Saudi Arabia and Egypt are going about achieving it, by encouraging Israel to deal Hamas a crippling blow, calls into question what is really going on here. Turki's father King Faisal bin Abdulaziz would be turning in his grave at what the son is putting his name to. This Saudi Israeli alliance is forged in blood, Palestinian blood, the blood on Sunday (July 20, 2014) of over 100 souls in Shejaiya."

At this moment, the world is passively watching as Israel perpetrates open-ended massacre in Gaza.

Abdus Sattar Ghazali is the Chief Editor of the Journal of America.