“…The attacks came after months of rising tension since the current government came to power last December. To gain the support of far-right parties Netanyahu had to reject the two-state solution and agree to expanding Israeli settlements in what Palestinians and the international community consider occupied territories.
“Construction of new settlements has increased since Netanyahu took office.
“The visit to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound (also referred to as “the temple mount”) last January by the new ultraconservative National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir was seen by Palestinians as a deliberately provocative act. Gvir advocates ending an agreement that bans non-Muslims from praying on the site, which has been in place for nearly a century.
“Hamas identified raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque as one reason for launching its attacks.
“A Haaretz Israel editorial asserts that “Netanyahu bears responsibility for this Israel-Gaza war,” not only for ignoring warning signs of the attacks but for “establishing a government of annexation and dispossession when appointing Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir to key positions while embracing a foreign policy that openly ignored the existence and rights of Palestinians.”
“To be perfectly clear, these actions by Israeli politicians do not justify Saturday’s attack, but they do help to explain it and point the way to resolving the conflict.”