How Netanyahu turned a police matter into a war

These are the familiar steps to a tragic and bloody dance

Benjamin Netanyahu
(Image credit: (AP photo/Gali Tibbon))

When three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped in the West Bank on June 12, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a choice. He could have simply ordered Israel's security forces to find the boys and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Instead, Netanyahu made a different choice. He immediately announced that the extremist group Hamas was responsible (though his government has to date produced no evidence). He then launched a broad crackdown on Hamas infrastructure in the West Bank under the pretext of searching for the missing boys, and arrested hundreds of Palestinian activists, including dozens who had been released as part of the deal with Hamas to release captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011.

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