Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) was shot down on July 17 while flying over Ukraine from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all of 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board. It is alleged that the Boeing 777 aircraft was hit by a Buk missile supplied by Russia to the pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine. Russia denies the allegations.
What could prompt the pro-Russian rebels to shoot down a civilian aircraft of the Malaysia Airlines? First of all, the rebels have no conflict with Malaysia. A civilian aircraft flying over its territory could not be carrying arms for Ukraine. It is also reported that the Buk antimissile system was supplied with Russian crews. They could not mistake a civilian aircraft for a military one. Secondly, have the rebels benefitted in any way by this tragic accident? No. On the contrary, both the rebels and the Russians have become victims of the tragedy. While blaming the rebels for the tragedy, the allies of Israel are using the incident as a pretext to impose new economic sanctions against Russia.
Now look at the other side of the story. Israel started its assault on the Gaza Strip, basically genocide, on July 8 when the world was gripped by the World Cup fever. It was also the month of Ramadan when the Palestinian Muslims were fasting during the day and having meals at night. Naturally, it was difficult for them to observe blackouts during the night. This was, therefore, the most opportune moment for Israel to strike at Gaza.
The World Cup was over but the Gaza operation remained unfinished. Israel badly needed a dramatic event to divert the world attention from the genocide. The MH17 tragedy was the drama that Israel needed. For days and nights, the Western media remained occupied with news and views on the MH17 accident, eclipsing the genocide taking place in Gaza.
Israel indiscriminately bombed residential areas including schools, hospitals, mosques and refugee camps. By August 2, more than 1,700 Palestinians were killed and thousands maimed. Most of them were civilians including children. Its allies have been vocal in supporting Israel's right to defend itself but remained hypocritically silent on the right of the Palestinians to liberate their land occupied by Israel.
It is now obvious that the main beneficiaries of the sad MH17 accident are not the rebels in Ukraine or the Russians but Israel and its allies. Under such circumstances, who would take the blame on the rebels for the MH17 tragedy without a grain of salt and exclude the probability of a stealthy operation by the beneficiaries?
The writer is a former chief engineer of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission.