Flashback: What happened next?

Let us – courtesy of Reuters– flashback to the 26th of December 2008. In other words, just before this current conflict in Gaza erupted. The reason this is instructive is that we are told that the blockade of Gaza (itself a response to rockets being shippedinto Gaza to be fired at Israel) was one of the grievances provoking the Hamas rockets.

So this is what happened on 26 December, according to Reuters:

“GAZA (Reuters) – Israel eased a blockade of the Gaza Strip Friday… “

What happened next?

“… but militants there aimed rockets and mortars across the border, one of which misfired and killed two Palestinian girls.”

Yes, Reuters reported that: “Israel said it was responding to numerous requests from the international community by reopening border crossings with Gaza to allow in vital truckloads of fuel and humanitarian aid.”

But what happened next?

“But renewed fire from Gaza-based militants — a day after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned Islamist group Hamas to stop firing rockets or pay a heavy price — ensured that the easing of tension was short-lived.”

So in a globule, before the fog of competing narratives started when hostilities broke out, according the the Reuters News Agency:

  1. Israel reopens the Gaza crossings
  2. Militants respond to this  positive development with rocket fire.
  3. Israel warns of a heavy price if rockets continue being fired at Israel.
  4. Militants thumb their noses and respond with more rocket fire.

We all know what happened next.