Some context for the rockets from Gaza.

My latest at Open Zion/The Daily Beast:

Over the past two days, Hamas has launched a barrage of rockets into southern Israel. These attacks are horrible, and their significance far-reaching: No one should have to live with the uncertainty and fear they bring; no one should have to grab a child and run. Moreover, rockets fired by Hamas itself, rather than militants over whom the movement may or may not have any real control, represents a worrying escalation.

But there are other facts to this story, facts that are no less important but which tend not to be discussed when rockets start flying out of Gaza. To wit:

On Monday evening, the IDF carried out strikes in several locations in Gaza, and Palestinian[s] reported that five people were wounded. Shortly afterward, the IDF carried out two more strikes and killed four Palestinians.

Those strikes were carried out in response to rockets. Which came in response to Israeli strikes. Which came in response to rockets.

Just like in March of this year. And August of last year. And March of the year before that. And January 2010, too. And of course there was Operation Cast Lead, the full-on war of in the winter of 2008/9.

The details vary, the number of deaths, the methods of violence, but the basics remain identical: Violence leads to violence, more Palestinians die than Israelis, and somewhere along the line an Israeli official says something like:

This cannot be allowed to continue…We will have to catch [Hamas members], to tear them apart, to chop them to pieces. This is what I’m certain the Israel Defense Forces and the security service will do.

To read the rest (and learn who said those super-tough words and when they were uttered!), please click here.

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