The Arabic press is confirming that al-Balawi was further enraged by the Israeli war on poor little Gaza last winter. A physician, he volunteered to be part of a group that intended to go to Gaza to do relief work for the victims of Israel's brutal targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure. (The Israelis were trying to destroy the fundamentalist Hamas party, which rules Gaza, and gave as their pretext the occasional rockets Hamas fired into Israel, though in fact there had been a truce for much of 2008, a truce of which the Israelis coldly took advantage to plan their war.)Besides the stunningly slanted phrasing in this paragraph, note Cole's contribution to that ever-expanding genre: the misleading (or mendacious) account of the events leading up Operation Cast Lead. On December 20th 2008, Hamas, not Israel, formally announced that it was not renewing the cease-fire. It followed up its announcement with a barrage of those "occasional" rockets it called "Operation Oil Stain," starting December 24th. Operation Cast Lead began on December 27th.
Crossposted on Soccer Dad