With the shaky cease fire between Israel and Hamas now expired, Israel has commenced a pounding air assault into Gaza, targeting a wide range of Hamas targets and facilities and killing nearly 200 people (no word on the civilian/militant breakdown). Israel launched the attack in response to continued rocket attacks across the border into Israeli townships.
The problem is that I'm not sure how much these reprisals do to deter Hamas' terrorism. Even in the midst of this latest operation, Hamas managed to fire off a rocket which killed an Israeli woman in Netivot. And of course, Hamas has promised to step up its "retaliation" against Israel in the wake of the attack.
But it's not like a more lenient policy changes things either. When Israel withdrew from Gaza -- a major concession to Palestinian authorities -- they were met with more rocket attacks. When they relax border checkpoints and allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza, the result is ... more rocket attacks. Very little the Israelis do seems to have much of an effect on the constant stream of rockets falling into their territory. This makes it difficult to formulate effective policy.
UPDATE: Here's Eamonn McDonaugh defending the operation on the grounds that peace will never flow out of Gaza until Hamas is convinced it does not have a military option available that will succeed in bringing down Israel. Two points: First, there is a lot of shaky psychoanalyzing going on here of the Hamas and Iranian leadership. I'm not really sure that they were convinced that Israel was on the brink of collapse, and even if they did believe that, an operation such as this could easily be seen as a last gasp stand. Second, McDonaugh talks at the very end of Israel's obligation to let in food and medicine to the Gazan population. To my knowledge, this is not a duty that Israel is even trying to meet, and that has to be noted as a serious human rights violation wholly aside from how one evaluates the rest of their operation.