The battle in Gaza currently raging is unlikely to leave either side with a satisfactory outcome. Without going into the details of how the current fighting started, we have seen this situation before and once the fighting stops Hamas and the Israelis will be left trying to agree a deal for a long term ceasefire without still officially talking to each other. Israel will claim that it has destroyed the capability of Hamas to fight and Hamas will claim victory for surviving the Israeli onslaught. What is almost inevitable in the absence of a permanent peace deal which everyone is signed up to, is that the next ceasefire will also be broken with Israel blaming Hamas who will do likewise with more loss of innocent life.
Israel’s attempts to bomb Hamas into oblivion will not succeed unless it re-occupies the Gaza strip with a huge number of troops which it is unlikely to do. While Hamas will undoubtedly be damaged by the Israeli attacks, it will not be destroyed. It has, however flawed an electoral mandate which in all probability will be strengthened after the next election and the only realistic outcome of such intense bombing will be to strengthen the position of hardliners with a settlement and long term peace even more difficult to attain.
While leaders on both sides try to show that they are doing what is needed for their people and that the other side is to blame, the innocent civilians as always are the ones who continue to suffer.