New developments out of the Israel-Gaza conflict this morning, with an Israeli official telling CNN's Christiane Amanpour that a ground offensive is on hold to allow time for a diplomatic solution.
Diana Buttu, former PLO Legal Adviser and a Former Palestinian Peace Negotiator, explains on "Early Start" that she doubts that Israel was ever seriously going to begin a ground offensive.
“It’s important to keep in mind that this is being done first and foremost for election reasons,” as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu soon seeks reelection, Buttu says. “So I don’t think that this prime minister is going to do anything to put any soldiers in harm’s way just on the eve of an election. So I don’t think that this was an issue to begin with.”
Buttu, who is now a political analyst at the Institute for Middle East Understanding, says this conflict is ongoing because "there is a 45-year military occupation over the Gaza Strip, people denied their freedom, and that fact that this blockade has continued for six years.”
“Conflict ends by actually beginning to hold Israel to account under international law," Buttu adds. "Under international law, Israel cannot continue to maintain this occupation” in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank or “we’re going to continue to see this kind of activity.”
Buttu suggests a long term solution. “Demand that Israel completely withdraw from the West Bank and from the Gaza Strip, allow all Palestinians to live in freedom...and that will be a solution that will at least be able to change the status quo rather than keep it,” she says.