All of the suffering in Gaza – indeed, all of the suffering endured by Palestinians under Israeli occupation for the last eight years – could have been avoided if Israel negotiated a peace agreement with Yasser Arafat when it had the chance, in 2001.
What chance? The official Israeli position is that there was no chance, "no partner for peace." That's what Israeli leaders heard from their Military Intelligence (MI) service in 2000 after the failure of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations at Camp David. Arafat scuttled those talks, MI told the leaders, because he was planning to set off a new round of violence, a second intifada.
Now former top officials of MI say the whole story, painting Arafat as a terrorist out to destroy Israel, was an intentional fiction.