Another slaughter in Gaza sooner than we think?

Bradley Burston in Haaretz thinks that Palestinians should prepare for another massacre and soon:

The countdown to the Second Gaza War has begun in earnest. Date it, if you like, to Sunday, and a coolly terrifying analysis by Yom Tov Samia, former overall Israeli military commander of the Gaza Strip and the adjacent Negev.

Or date it, if you prefer, according to the axiom of contemporary Israeli history which reads: A future war becomes all but inevitable the moment a key IDF reserve major general declares it so.

Alternatively, date it from the moment that selective amnesia allows Israeli political figures to court the illusion that Hamas can be invaded to death.

All this and more was to be had from an interview Samia gave Army Radio this week, which should give pause not only to the Palestinians and Israelis who may fall victim to a Second Gaza War, but to Washington as well.

If last year’s brutal fighting is any indication – and there is every reason to believe that it is – a full-on drive to prevent the looming Israel-Hamas confrontation in the Strip belongs at the top tier of Obama’s already staggering pile of priorities.

Another Gaza war, this one likely to be an even more bitter onslaught, could not only prove lethal to what is left of Israeli moral credibility, it could undermine and cripple Obama’s military-political offensives in Iraq, Afghanistan and, slipping further down the slope, Yemen.

If Obama still nurses hopes of brokering a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, his first task must be defusing the war wagon before it once again engulfs Gaza – and, this time around, Tel Aviv as well. As it is, war in Gaza has shifted Israel’s political landscape, and not in Obama’s favor.