Hamas has been raining rockets down on Israeli citizens for EIGHT years. They have shown no signs of returning Gilad Shalit and the Hamas government actively and publicly supports terror.
The Israeli economy benefits from open borders with Gaza and only keeps them closed when security concerns overwhelm economic ones.
The Israeli army does its best not to harm civilians in this attack on Hamas. It is focusing on destroying munition factories, Hamas offices and tunnels used for smuggling ammunition into Gaza from Egypt. Occasionally civilians do get hurt, just as they are getting hurt on the Israeli side (and that's not by accident).
Israel simply wants to prevent Hamas from shooting rockets at Israel by taking away its capability to do that (after all diplomatic avenues have failed).
Even with all the lies Arab propaganda is spewing, the international community has been fairly understanding of Israel's position. Israel does not go to war lightly and it is paying a fairly high price - the endangerment of all the civilians in the south of Israel as well as Israeli soldiers in Gaza and all over the country. But this is a necessary reaction.
An important thing to note: Hamas complains of lack of food, medicine, etc. Israel has been allowing humanitarian aid in to Gaza and Hamas gunmen have been stealing it in order to sell to the citizens of Gaza! Palestinians wounded in Gaza have been treated in Israeli hospitals. While all this has been going on, a Palestinian baby was brought to an Israeli hospital for a life-saving heart operation.
It doesn't get much more humanitarian than that!
For a different view check out this "on site" blog: In Gaza, repleat with photos, reports and a little video footage. See also the comment threads of Laila's latest post, there are links to two troubling articles by Avi Shlaim and Robert Fisk. Old Testament Passion links to an article by an Arab Christian on the issue. Here's an excerpt:
So, what is our role as believers in this situation? How can we be a model ofMessiah as we move forward in the reconciliation process? Are we too busychallenging the moral and ethical position of the other side that we areunwilling to take responsibility? Because our societies have chosen war andviolence, there is a great need for reconciliation. We can accomplish thisthrough taking on a priestly role of intercessor and prophetic role ofspeaking the truth.