On this day when optimism abounds, with Egypt hinting at a cease fire deal between Hamas and Israel, 150 rockets were fired by Hamas into Israel, including their closest shot yet to Tel Aviv.
Hamas continues its assault knowing two things: Israel must respond. Hamas can't win.
So what's the point? First you have to realize that Hamas is not really a governing body. They rule in the Gaza strip, but their actions display a total disregard for the welfare of the people who live there. They fire their rockets from civilian areas, even from within homes, schools and hospitals. They intentionally provoke return fire, knowing that civilian structures will be destroyed and civilians will be caught in the crossfire. They then display the carnage to a very receptive global media audience as evidence of the brutal cruelty of the Israeli's.
Hamas is a mercenary group working for Iran, not for the people of Gaza. Their aim, it seems clear to me, is to provoke Israel into a violent enough response to enrage potential allies against Israel, while causing potential allies for Israel to want to distance themselves. They are trying to clear the field for an all out regional war against Israel.
So far, they've met with limited success. They are, however, learning more about the capabilities and weaknesses of Israel's defenses and they've successfully taken Iran's nuclear program off the front pages.
There is only one real way to peace in the region. The people have to demand it. They have to insist on leaders that are more interested in improving the quality of life of their citizens than in wiping Israel off the map. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like things are trending that way at the moment.