The expected Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip has just begun... based, it seems, on a lie:
"Look, the story goes something like this. It is quite fishy:
"Netanyahu calls Sisi. After the call, Egypt issues an initiative of sorts without consulting Hamas.
"Suddenly, the Israeli government, that would never normally make a decision so fast to approve a ceasefire by another country, even if it were the US, immediately approves, in no time, the Egyptian initiative, knowing that Hamas would say no because it was never consulted.
"Soon after, Netanyahu goes to the press and says: 'Now that Hamas has not accept the ceasefire, we have the right, the international legitimacy, to continue our campaign against Gaza, and even expand it.
"Right after that, Kerry says: 'This is a despicable silence on the part of Hamas, and Israel has a right to defend itself.
"All in all, this begs a lot of questions. There seems here to have been an effort to undercut, to undermine, an Arab/American initiative to bring something forward that takes into consideration both Hamas' demands and Israel's. I am quite against any conspiratorial thinking of any sort when analysing the news but you have here a situation whereby the call for a ceasefire looks like it is meant to intensify the fire, because that's what we heard Netanyahu say: 'If there is no ceasefire, there will be fire.' There is a sense that this ceasefire is an attempt to cover for more fire." (Video: Ramzy Baroud discusses the failed 'ceasefire' in Gaza, palestinechronicle.com, 15/7/14)
On Egypt's role in the matter, note this:
"Israel's largest-selling newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, quoted an Egyptian presidential adviser as saying Mr Sisi was in no hurry to assist and 'as far as he (Mr Sisi) is concerned, Israel can continue crushing Hamas'." (US warns Israel on Gaza assault, John Lyons, The Australian, 15/7/14)
On possible Australian foreknowledge, note this:
"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday spoke to Prime Minister Tony Abbott about the conflict. An Israeli spokesman said Mr Netanyahu told Mr Abbott Israel was attempting to defend its citizens against Hamas, which 'fires missiles indiscriminately against Israeli civilians'." (Hamas fighters reject truce deal, John Lyons, The Australian, 16/7/14)
Finally, note this media release from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop:
"The Australian Government strongly condemns the decision of Hamas to reject a ceasefire to hostilities between Israel and the extremist groups in Gaza. Hamas claims to represent Gaza, yet it has jeopardised the welfare of its own people by rejecting the proposal for a ceasefire. The Israeli Government demonstrated its leadership by accepting the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire proposal... The Australian Government has listed Hamas as a terrorist organisation pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1373, which deals with the prevention and suppression of terrorist acts." (17/7/14)