Over the past 43 days the people of Israel and those who care about this tiny outpost of democracy in the Middle East have been on an emotional roller coaster. Each hopeful high that came with a ceasefire or word of talks in Egypt seemed to be followed by an inevitable plunge into despair, as Hamas either violated a truce or rapidly resumed its assault the moment one would officially end. This seesaw cycle of conflict and short periods of calm has undoubtedly been exhausting for everyone involved, and most keenly felt by the Israeli civilians living in fear of rockets and tunnels, as well as these innocent Palestinians held hostage in Gaza by Hamas and it's terrorist minions.
For the past 5 days there was relative calm in this conflict, and today brought some hope that a 24 hour extension might buy a little more time for both sides to talk, but once again Hamas could not resist the urge to try and murder Israeli civilians and now the fighting has escalated significantly. With reports thus afternoon of intense rocket attacks on major population centers such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, it's hard not to think that Hamas may be trying to draw Israeli ground forces back into Gaza. I hope I'm wrong about that, but regardless of the precise goals behind this renewed round of violence, Hamas is the cause of whatever death and destruction which follows.
Copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2014.