Michael Totten

Inside Israel's Gaza Attack

by Charles Chuman
If there was ever any doubt, the Israeli plan to attack Gaza was formulated long ago. As I noted in the “previous post”:http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/2008/12/why-gaza-why-no.php, the Israelis had a long list of targets gathered through months of intelligence gathering.
Ha’aretz “explains”:http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1050426.html some key components leading up to the attacks.
One striking fact now revealed is that Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni flew to Cairo to personally inform the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak about Israel’s plans.
Hamas was ready for an Israeli attack after the Israeli cabinet meeting, but a strategic Israeli disinformation campaign lured Hamas into a vulnerable position: “”Hamas evacuated all its headquarter personnel after the cabinet meeting on Wednesday,” one defense official said, “but the organization sent its people back in when they heard that everything was put on hold until Sunday.”
The article claims:
bq. Long-term preparation, careful gathering of information, secret discussions, operational deception and the misleading of the public – all these stood behind the Israel Defense Forces “Cast Lead” operation against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, which began Saturday morning.
bq. The disinformation effort, according to defense officials, took Hamas by surprise and served to significantly increase the number of its casualties in the strike.
bq. 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. According to the sources, Barak maintained that although the lull would allow Hamas to prepare for a showdown with Israel, the Israeli army needed time to prepare, as well.
bq. Barak gave orders to carry out a comprehensive intelligence-gathering drive which sought to map out Hamas’ security infrastructure, along with that of other militant organizations operating in the Strip.