Israel is more than three weeks into Operation Protective Edge. With over 1328 Palestinians and 59 Israelis dead, numerous commentators have weighed in on what each side hopes to gain from the current violence.
On the Israeli side, the stated military goal is to permanently diminish Hamas’ capacity and willingness to launch rocket attacks against Israel. Some suspect a wider political goal of weakening Hamas politically and elevating Fatah. Certainly there is the view that Israel must simply respond to force with force—that the only way to deal with Hamas’ rocket attacks is to inflict overwhelmingly pain on Hamas and its followers. Others have suggested more sinister intentions, with some claiming that Israel’s actions in Gaza constitute deliberate ethnic cleansing—or even genocide.