Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that the office of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is preparing the international public opinion for a large-scale military offensive against the Gaza Strip, adding that it seems that Netanyahu has already decided to conduct a large ground offensive against the coastal region.Haaretz stated that ministers of the Likud party of Netanyahu are competing on who will utter harsher threats against the Hamas movement in Gaza, adding that it does not seem that Netanyahu is enthusiastic about an opportunity to launch an offensive against Gaza.
But the paper also stated that, during a press briefing Sunday, a source at the office of Netanyahu said that the Prime Minister is launching a propaganda campaign among the international community to prepare international public opinion for a large scale Israeli offensive against coastal strip.
Haaretz said that the current situation Netanyahu is facing is that he is facing public criticism in the country regarding the failure to stop Palestinian fighters from firing shells into Israel, but at the same time is not getting international support to launch a larger war on Gaza.
Therefore, Israel wants to “prepare the international public opinion for this war” in order to avoid harsh criticism, especially since the Israeli Prime Minister realizes that such a war will not receive international legitimacy, and could even manifest harsh diplomatic consequences.
Haaretz also said that, as Israel approaches general elections, Likud ministers are voicing harsh criticisms of Hamas, while ministers Yisrael Katz, Moshe Ya’alon, and Yuli Edelstein are not only calling for a large-scale offensive on Gaza, but are also calling for renewing the extrajudicial targeted assassinations of Hamas’s political leaders.
Netanyahu is also steering a campaign against Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, in order to discredit him ahead of his plan to apply, by the end of this month, for an observer Palestinian status at the United Nations.
Netanyahu will be addressing the International Community telling it that “Abbas, who claims to represent the entire Palestinian nation, has no control on the situation in Gaza”.
It is worth mentioning that, since Saturday evening, Israel killed seven Palestinians, and wounded dozens of residents in its recent military escalation against the Gaza Strip. Several Israelis were also wounded by Palestinian shells.
But Israel is now trying to win in international public opinion to conduct a large-scaled military offensive against the coastal region, including larger ground invasions.