The pretext for bombing and shelling Gaza was the death of three Israeli teenagers allegedly killed by Hamas.
'Operation Protective Edge (OPE) directed against Gaza is reminiscent of the infamous 2001 Dagan Plan entitled "Operation Justified Vengeance" in which the deaths of innocent Israeli civilians had been envisaged and foreseen by IDF military planners.
The deaths are then used to muster the support of the Israeli public as well as provide a justification for a "legitimate" counter-terrorism operation in the eyes of the international community directed against the Palestinian occupied territories.
Contrived behind closed doors in July 2001, the Dagan Plan (named after Mossad chief Meir Dagan) was slated by its IDF and Mossad architects to be "launched immediately following the next high-casualty suicide bombing, would last about a month and is expected to result in the death of hundreds of Israelis and thousands of Palestinians." (See Ellis Shuman, "Operation Justified Vengeance": a Secret Plan to Destroy the Palestinian Authority, Intelligence Ploy behind the "Suicide bombings", Global Research, February 01, 2006)