Although Hamas persists in showering ineffective rockets on Israel, thus illustrating once again the Arab propensity to regard the illusion of triumph as important as, if not more so, than triumph itself (which is unattainable as far as Israel is concerned.)
But Hamas' rocketeering, plus the infiltration of terrorists through tunnels into Israel, has made this crisis different from the last two Gaza crises in that, mainly because of the rocket attacks, Israel has an excuse to continue warfare in this narrow piece of land bordering Egypt, the sea, and Israel itself... except that the balance sheet of losses is terribly out of kilter -- some 1,400 Palestinians as against 70 Israelis, of whom only three were civilians and therefore the only victims of Hamas' rocket attacks.
If one looks back on the sad chain of events since the vacuum created by the breakup of the talks between Israel and Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority in April, occasioned in precipitate terms by Israel's refusal to go forward with a third tranche of scheduled prisoner releases, it is less a question of the failure of John Kerry's lengthy effort at cajoling than it is Benjamin Netanyahu's unwillingness to move toward a credible two-state solution. It is all the more tragic in that it is in Israel's best interest to end the Palestinian occupation and agree to a two-state solution, rather than simply continue ad hoc and without a strategy or plan for peace for the last nearly 50 years since the end of the Six Day War. But alas! One can only conclude, in my view, that as long as Netanyahu remains in power, there can be no peace between Israelis and Palestinians.