Gaza flare-up part of bin Salman’s scenario to distract world from Khashoggi case | Eurasia Diary -

23 May, Thursday

Gaza flare-up part of bin Salman’s scenario to distract world from Khashoggi case

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The recent flare-up of violence in the besieged Gaza Strip was likely Israel’s contribution to a plot hatched by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to divert the world’s attention away from the Saudi assassination of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a report says.

The Saudi crown prince has set up an “emergency task force” to counter the increasingly damaging leaks about the murder of Khashoggi coming from Turkish authorities, the Middle East Eye cited sources inside Saudi Arabia as saying in a report originally published on Tuesday night and later updated on Wednesday.

Among a range of measures and scenarios proposed by the task force was a plan to convince Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to wage a war on Gaza to divert global attention from the assassination case, the sources said.

The task force, composed of officials from the royal court, the foreign and defense ministries, and the intelligence service, advised bin Salman that a war in Gaza can distract US President Donald Trump’s attention amid Turkish leaks on Khashoggi's murder, the London-based online news outlet was told.

Earlier this week, Israeli warplanes started a fresh wave of deadly air raids against residential areas throughout the Gaza Strip. But the aggression drew an angry reaction from Palestinian resistance group Hamas, which fired an intense barrage of rockets into the southern parts of the occupied territories.

The flare-up of violence broke out when the Israeli military launched a commando raid against Gaza last weekend and killed seven Hamas commanders.

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