With an election looming, Israel's leaders move to end the threat posed by Hamas' constant, if largely ineffective, rocket attacks. Sound familiar? "This is a horror movie we've seen before," in the form of Israel's 2008 invasion, writes Jonathan Freedland at the Guardian. Why is it happening again? Each side has its reasons. Hamas may simply be unable to control more bellicose groups like Islamic Jihad, or it may have intentionally stepped up attacks to exploit its suddenly friendly relationship with Egypt and an influx of Libyan weaponry.
In Israel, almost everyone assumes Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to make his rivals "fall into line as patriotic cheerleaders" ahead of Israel's January election. Netanyahu forcefully denies this. But whatever the reason, Freedland already knows the outcome. "Yet another round of civilian deaths and injury will sow hatred in the hearts of another generation," he writes. "This keeps happening, decade after decade, for one simple reason: There can be no military solution to the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Both sides will say the action they have taken is necessary. But it will solve nothing." Read the full post here. (Read more Israel stories.)