This cartoon from The Economist says much. Grim humour but, despite some core truths, exaggerated with respect to the assigned symmetry of responsibilities.
Is Israel overreacting to the ongoing bombardment of its territories by the Hamas terrorists? Is Israel foolishly ignoring the realignment of political direction in Egypt and other countries or is it taking advantage of internal strife in countries, such as Syria, to prosecute its retributions against those who lob missiles into its territories? I think none of these things. Israel is simply defending its right to exist as an “garden of paradise in the desert sands”. Surrounded by hostile regimes Israel seeks its right to continue to exist. Independent of history what country would not? The increased security threats that Israel faces from countries such as Egypt are not a sensible reason to cower to terrorism when the central demand made by the terrorists is for Israel to disappear. There are few other options for Israel. Can anyone who has examined history accept that Israel will make further concessions while it is under bombardment?
The fact of civilian casualties in Gaza is a tragedy of monumental proportions that need to be attributed to Hamas and to those who gave it political power. Not attributed to Israel which seeks to defend itself against an enemy that conceals itself in civilian areas among women and children, fires missiles at Israel and which then cries foul when the inevitable and genuinely terrible tragedies occur as a response.
The leaders of Hamas occupy a priviledged position in their terrorist la-la land. This morning they claimed they will continue shelling Israel until it stops its attacks on Gaza and opens up the borders of Gaza to free trade (presumably in weapons!) . The latter is something not even Egypt wants. The Hamas leaders further criticise Israel for continuing the bombardment of Gaza when they have been bombarding Israel itself for months and continue to do so at a furious pace today. 750-800 missiles since January this year. Do they really believe that anyone sees such language as anything other than total hypocrisy?
A ground invasion of Gaza despite the signalled accumulation of firepower and troops seems likely to be an outside option. Hamas does not control all the terrorist groups operating in Gaza so targeting Hamas alone would not make sense. In addition an invasion would be costly in terms of lives and damage.