Connect with us


Who Started The Latest Round of Escalation: Gaza Palestinians or Israel? A Timeline.


Here we go again.

Israel has started bombing Gaza using one of the most superior air-force in the world against one of the most inferior resistance in the world. As always, two narratives carry the day.

One that is dominant in most Palestine-friendly and neutral countries that decries Israel for everything, from occupation to siege to the use of heavy weaponry against a defenseless people; and the other narrative dominating USA and some other strong Israel allies: Israel is acting in self-defense against a barrage of rocket attacks.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Pandering to Israeli narrative becomes so dominant in America that one sees despicable headlines such as this in USA Today

Gaza strikes intensify, frightening Israelis”

You will see many of the sources below from the States read like IDF press-releases; nearly every headline or story always mentions the rockets before relaying the news of “bad, but deserved” deaths of Palestinian civilians.

But obviously both narratives cannot be right.

There is truth out somewhere, and one can see that based on factual time-lines, it is clear who is responsible for this latest salvo. Furthermore, one can corroborate responsible party with a more subjective evaluation of motives.

As for timeline, one can begin at the occupation and apartheid, but that would be laborious. One can also mention the ongoing siege that continues to cripple Gaza, the largest open-air jail in the world. But let’s move to more specific and timely events and the culprit becomes obvious.

After weeks of lull:

November 8th: Israeli soldiers invade Gaza and exchange gunfire, and end up killing a 13-year old boy. [Source]

November 10th: Palestinians fighters attack Israeli soldiers (NOT civilians) and would 4 using anti-tank missile. [Source]

November 10th: Israel responds to this non-civilian attack by killing 4 civilians, all between16 and 18, including two more civilians gathered at a funeral. 25 more wounded [Source]

November 10th: Palestinian militants send rockets into southern Israel- no report of injuries.

November 11th: Israel continues attacks, killing one more civilian and wounding more than 30. [Source]

November 12th: Palestinian militant factions agree to a truce as long as Israel ends its attacks. Israel sends similar signal. [Source]


November 14th: Israel re-ignites violence by illegal assassination of Hamas leader and also ends up killing Ahmed Jabari, the head of Hamas’ military wing and according to reports, kills another 10 Palestinians, including an 11-month-old baby and a woman pregnant with twins. [Source]

Besides the facts as outlined above, it is clear that as is almost always the case, Israel is the original provocateur and besides the timeline, one can also consider motives. With upcoming election, right-wing hawks in Israel led by Netanyahu know that such escalations play in his hand. By using death for politics, Netanyahu once again is displaying to the world that his thirst for power and his desire in establishing Israel’s apartheid know no bounds. On the other hand, let’s consider the Gazans. There are actually motives that would push Gazans to act responsibly. First of all, they are in an ill-position to have their infrastructure destroyed again. Secondly, they know that Egypt hasn’t quite settled down and they cannot let their own problems become dominant in Egypt, causing their new ally Morsi all sorts of issues.

In conclusion, both the timeline and motives are clear that Israel is responsible for this latest Gaza escalation and as such bears responsibility for all the additional hatred and disgust of the world that this new round of killing will bring to it.

Related Posts:

See also:

Israel’s Latest Assault on Gaza: The Lie of Who Started It

Timeline: Israel’s Latest Escalation in Gaza

Interview: Ali Abunimah on the situation in Gaza



Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").



  1. Jaman

    November 15, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Sorry to see another person one sided when it takes two parties to tango? where did you get educated?
    Regards Thom

    • Hassen

      November 15, 2012 at 11:26 PM

      The only side he appears to be on is that of the facts- he listed a clear timeline with a source for each event (all of which were from Western media sources). I think it’s safe to assume he received a good education, masha’Allah.

  2. Omar

    November 15, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    … Israel attacked Gaza and they killed the head terrorist, please keep in mind that 12,000 rockets were launched at civilian towns from Gaza since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip a few years ago. There have been about 1000 this year, and over 130 in the last 3 days. You will not see that on TV…
    I am not for or against any country but I totally agree that this article is one sided. But I’m sure your country would do the same.

  3. Basil Mohamed Gohar

    November 15, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    Dare I point out, Thom, that every reference to an event in the timeline was cited with sources to articles in the Western media? I guess you can consider that one-sided, but I’m guessing it’s not the one you were implying.

  4. Carlos

    November 16, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    There is nothing clear cut about this. I just read your article and two Middle Eastern originated articles, which show timelines that purport to show Israel is the aggressor in this recent fighting. But then I just read three articles from Western or Israeli sources that purport to give timelines that make it seem like the Gazans are clearly the aggressors. It’s like asking children in a schoolyard fight which one started it, only far more serious and deadly. I hear lots of macho chest-thumping on both sides, although primarily from the Hamas leadership. The “tough guys” on both sides make me angry with their apparent indifference to the suffering and fear of the children on both sides. Israel has taken-out the Hamas military leader, and should now back-off. Hamas, of course, should stop giving Israel excuses to retaliate by indiscriminately firing rockets randomly at civilian populations in Israel. Firing rockets at civilian populations is terrorism. It has no military effectiveness. It is simply politically-motivated and symbolic violence. The crocodile tears on both sides need to stop.

    • amad

      November 16, 2012 at 5:14 AM

      Carlos, instead of acting like a little Israeli minion, why don’t you stick to the timeline. Stick to facts. You don’t need to point to any sources, as the ones I provided are ALL from non-Arab sources. So, don’t try to confuse people with your diversions.

      Did Israel not kill the child on Nov 8?
      Did Israel not break the ceasefire on Nov 14?

      Asking school-children? Do you think the two forces are equal in their power? Is Israel under siege? Seriously, comments such as yours are so full of underlying bias, while attempting to sound fair, that it is better to be blatantly biased.

    • Abdurraheem

      March 1, 2013 at 9:39 AM

      By the definition you give, Israël and USA are the biggest terrorists in the world of today……

  5. Robbie

    November 16, 2012 at 5:41 AM

    I am delighted to see, that some writers/readers do understand the plight of the Israelis also!!!
    Obviously, none of us in the western world are pleased with this situation and some of the scenes are heartbreaking.
    However, if someone, that is supposedly educated and caring is to write on media sites like this, they should have the decency to write a FULL and HONEST report in the interest of diffusing trouble and saving lives!!!
    Everyone knows exactly the situation here, without going into detail and if we are ALL HONEST, these problems will go on for ever, if writers like the one who wrote this article, keep promoting one sided propaganda!!
    No government in the world WOULD stand for terrorist organizations firing shells into their homelands without retaliation and as long as we have people globally spouting propaganda like the above writer, the MUSLIM community and the JEWISH community alike, will never have peace.
    Isn’t it time that caring /educated people within the Muslim community started trying to try and diffuse these issues with their voices by educating their own people, instead of sending people out onto the streets to give support to terrorist organizations and putting their own peoples lives at risk!!

    • Gibran

      November 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      Hey Robbbie, how would you like it if someone stole your land, forced you out of your home, then occupied your home and made life next to unbearable?

  6. Robbie

    November 16, 2012 at 6:18 AM

    Message to Amad in response to his reply to Carlos!!
    Obviously based on your “little Israeli minion” comment, to Carlos, you are actually showing your true feelings!! We eed say no more on this !!!
    In answer to your questions, i reply in the same order you placed them.
    1. Israel may well have killed a child accidentally, which is heartbreaking for everyone. However, if people continue to harbor and support terrorism in their local communities and allow them to fire rockets from these positions, it is obvious that when retaliation does come, it may well affect the innocent. Why don’t these fighters take their rocket launchers out into open space and have consideration for the people they are putting in danger if they care so much about them???
    2.NO Israel did not break the ceasefire on Nov 14th. Israel have been getting fired upon quite heavily for over the last 3 weeks now!!
    3. Asking school children?? This just goes to show how uneducated you really are, as this question doesn’t make sense.
    4. Most definitely not, Israel are far the superior strength.
    5 Yes, the Israeli people are under siege!! Would you like to be sitting in your apartment in USA worrying about possible shells landing in or around your place??

    Just one question to you, Did Israel not allow the creation of the state of PALESTINE within Israel in the interest of peace???

    Finally, for you to write about “underlying bias” after this last rant, is quite beyond me!!

    It is very obvious from your initial article and the reply to Carlos, that if anyone here is one sided and biased, it is in fact yourself.

    For a man that is supposed to be educated and have an interest in the well being of your fellow Muslim’s, you should be ashamed of your yourself and the attitude you have towards a situation that could well affect people of all faiths worldwide if this situation is not diffused.

  7. amad

    November 16, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Dear Robbie,
    First, I would recommend that you read an exchange between two people fully before interjecting so you won’t be so lost on where “asking school children” came from. It came from Carlos. A key to displaying good education (a word you have repeated more than once) is being able to properly engage the issue and to respect the author’s territory. This is probably your first comment, so we will let it go.

    Secondly, thank you for admitting that Israel killed the child, but no thanks for your alligator tears. When you add but or a however right after expressing your “hearbreak”, then it sounds as sincere as the Israeli butchers who you have come to support.

    As expected, you bring no substance to the table. The post is about a timeline. Who did what and when. You have provided no response to this crux of the matter but instead just circled around the issue. The ceasefire was broken on 14th, that is a fact. More importantly the actual round began with the killing of the child on the 8th… instead of heart-break, we need you to admit to facts.

    As for Israel “allowing” Palestine, did you forget that Israel is an occupying force that actually did not exist not long ago? So they did not do a favor by giving people back their own land. Please get your facts straight. And preferably stick to the topic!

  8. Abdus Sabur

    November 16, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    there’s a great article on by glen greenwald “bodies for ballots” that refers to a couple other articles particularly by the author of the peace agreement. al-jazeerah also has a good one too.

    What I’ve deduced from reading and keeping up with what’s been said in the past months is that Netanyahu is due for election which he wanted to have months earlier and since he didn’t get the green light from the U.S. to start trouble with Iran he’s using Gaza as an excuse to start trouble, killing the innocent, gaining public support so he can get re-elected.

    There’s also another theory that Assad is behind it too in order to divert attention from his crimes against humanity in Syria.

    May Allah protect the people of Gaza & West Bank, Syria, Burma, Somalia, Kashmir, and another place on the planet where Muslims are oppressed. May Allah make us (Muslims) victorious. Ameen :)

  9. Leo

    November 17, 2012 at 3:48 AM

    This article isn’t one sided. Just facts.

  10. Pingback: Who Started The Latest Round of Escalation: Gaza Palestinians or Israel? A Timeline. | Words of love.. words for love…

  11. Mansoor

    November 18, 2012 at 4:25 AM

    We need to understand that Elections in Israel are only months away… War unites people of that country and the vote tilts towards the government
    May Allah protect our brothers in Gaza… InshaAllah Allah’s help is not far

  12. Gibran

    November 18, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    May I ask why my comments don’t appear to be showing up?

    • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      November 20, 2012 at 1:10 AM

      WaAlaikum Assalam Wa Rehmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu:
      The Comments Team reserves the right to withhold, modify, or delete any comments which they feel is not complying to our Comments Policy. Certain comments may be caught in our approval queue also depending on the criteria.

      Comments Team Lead

      • Gibran

        November 20, 2012 at 9:00 PM

        Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

        JazzakAllahu khairan

  13. Seeker of Justice

    November 18, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Asa, jazakAllah khayr for this insightful article. Would you mind posting an article on the biblical references to Israel and the Promised Land? I.e. if God promised to the children of Israel then do Muslims have a right to be inPalestine? I get asked these Qs but have limited knowledge on the History of Palestine and “who was there first”

  14. Sameer

    November 18, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Boy those dead children in Gaza sure must have appreciated the “Muslim vote” for Obama, especially since he backed his comments up with this:

    simple question from this statement he makes:
    “There’s no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders,”

    Q: What about missiles indiscriminently raining down from drones in Somalia, Pakistan, or Yemen?

    • Gibran

      November 20, 2012 at 9:11 PM

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      I’m with you on this. The question is, what do we do? We’ve been reduced to voting for the non-Muslim who “wont kill as many Muslims.”

      Honestly, I think a lot of it has to do with the wahn inside of us. Of course there are other problems. How can we expect Allah to change our condition unless we change what is in ourselves?

  15. Quran tutor

    November 19, 2012 at 4:56 AM

    Jazakalah Allah will protect the Muslims we do believe on Almighty Allah he’ll surely help the people of palestine

  16. Robbie

    November 19, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Amad, no reply, but not really surprised!!

    You know, its a real shame, that you post your views and ask for comments, but if anyone contradicts your views, you simply hide them, due to being unpopular!!
    My last post readers, was not rude, if anything a little sarcastic and guess what,,,,,you got it, the editors removed it!!

    Listen if you guys want a one sided web site thats fine, but don’t get upset when readers tell you what you don’t want to hear.

    • Amad

      November 20, 2012 at 1:23 AM

      I already replied to you. See above.

      • robbie

        December 3, 2012 at 4:26 AM


        You only replied to one post!!
        Maybe there was too much truth in the second which is why it was removed.

        I posted this for the benefit of your readers

  17. gloomermtn

    November 19, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    As a 14th generation American and a Christian I must say that at times like these I am ashamed to be an American. Wth the aid of American money and weapons Israel has continued it’s halocast against the people of Palestine for over 60 years. It is time for the American people to force our governmet to quit supporting these murders. Secretary James Baker of the Reagan Administrations said the largest deterent to peace in the middle east is Israel, until they are brought uder control there will be no peace.
    Read Jimmy Carter’s book Peace not Apartheid for an acurate history of the pain these people have suffered.

    • Amad

      November 20, 2012 at 1:25 AM

      Jimmy Carter was a great, conscientious President, who never got the credit he deserved. Probably because his ethics and morals overcame his politics, expediency and deference to lobbies.

      Definitely recommend the book as well.

    • Amad

      November 20, 2012 at 1:26 AM

      and thanks for not acting like a sheep as unfortunately many of our fellow Americans are– in swallowing everything that the American media feeds them.

  18. Mansoor Ansari

    November 19, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Israel is bombing government buildings now, where’s the outrage by the west govts & media now? It’s terrorism when Muslims do it, but legal when the west & it’s allies engage in such acts. This is Hypocrisy at it’s best.

    Thanks MM for the continued coverage.

  19. Comment

    November 20, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    I don’t really understand this situation, but as a father I found it heartbreaking to see the pictures of the injured children. Kids and civilians should not be hit, from either side. Scary scary situation, I cannot even imagine…

  20. John

    December 9, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Hello folks,

    this was just brought to my attention this morning, please view!

    We petition the obama administration to:
    Completely divest all support to the apartheid state of Israel

    Peacefully withdraw all support, military, monetary and political, from the apartheid terrorist state of Israel. This state is racist in nature and leads the

    world in its human rights abuses toward the indigenous people of Palestine. Considering the constant establishment of new settlements on stolen land

    built by Israeli citizens, and the open-air concentration camp conditions in which the Israeli military keeps these Palestinian men, women and children,

    without regard to the protests of the majority of the world’s countries, we, the people of the United States can no longer conscience the use of our tax

    dollars to support such inhumane action in our names.

    View and sign the petition here-

    Good video to view and share on this situation –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *