White House Backs Israeli Attacks on Gaza Strip

Insists Israel Has 'Right to Defend Itself'

Fresh off the latest round of Gaza rockets and Israeli airstrikes against the strip, the White House has issued  statement endorsing any Israeli attacks on the strip, saying they have the right to take whatever military action they see fit to “defend their nation.”

There have been two spates of rocket fire from Gaza, both by the ISIS-linked Omar Brigades. Neither did any damage. The Israel airstrikes have centered on Hamas, despite Hamas fighting against the Omar Brigades, and warning Israel that the strikes are being done by the smaller faction explicitly to try to start a war they can take advantage of.

Despite the US endorsement of escalation, a top Israeli commander today insisted his country had no intention of starting a new war over a few rockets. It’s unclear if the White House comments reflected a desire for Israel to start a war on flimsy pretext, or simply an expectation that they’d do so given their long history of exactly that.

The Omar Brigades bragged that the rocket strikes against Israel were retaliation against Hamas for killing one of their fighters, reflecting their inability to take on Hamas directly, and their similar expectation that they could sucker Israel into doing their dirty work for them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.