"Superficial observations in the Western news media that blame Hamas for the latest wave of violence ignore two important factors:
"First, Israeli strangulation of Gaza through an air and land blockade in cooperation with Egypt have brought Palestinian frustrations to a boiling point. The rocket attacks are a manifestation that Hamas feels cornered with its back to the wall. In fact, the attacks are probably the opening shots of a third Palestinian intifada.
"Second, it is a fallacy to believe that the West Bank and Gaza are two separate entities. The bonds of Palestinian nationalism inextricably bind the two together, emotionally and politically. Israeli excesses in the West Bank after the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens, especially the targeting and arrest of Hamas former prisoners in the West Bank, were bound to produce a reaction from Gaza.
"Beyond the blame game, it is crucial to judge Israel and Hamas by the same standards and focus on how we can bring this tragic conflict to an end. Although it is true that Hamas doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist, no Israeli government has ever recognized the existence of a Palestinian state within its internationally recognized 1967 borders.
"…The longer this conflict persists, the more it will fuel Islamist radicalism and destabilize the Middle East. Far from bringing Israel peace, the weakening of Hamas would likely sow the seeds of a new Islamic state that arcs through Iraq, Syria and the Palestinian territories."
— Fawaz Gerges, Ph.D. (x)