As Yossi Sarid put it in Haaretz:
Stop! Will the government have the courage to stop before calamity
hits? Those who sowed this wind of ongoing, not-necessarily-targeted strikes, of
locking the gates and suffocating Gaza on all sides, are now reaping the
whirlwind....The decision on war was made without realizing it, and the cabinet still does not know that this was the decision, exactly as happened in the summer of 2006....There is no choice but to talk to Hamas, indirectly or directly, and without preconditions.
In 2006 when Hamas peacefully participated in and won election as the new governing party of all Palestine, its ability to govern was undermined by U.S./Israeli economic warfare. Following Palestinian infighting partially provoked by Israel and the U.S., Palestine ended up divided, with Hamas governing Gaza and Fatah governing the West Bank, an obviously unstable situation likely to tempt all sides to engage in high-risk behavior. In January 2008, Hamas came up with the ingenious bulldozer diplomacy tactic to break out of the Gaza prison, but its opponents refused to compromise and slammed the door shut again, predictably generating the current fighting. Each time Hamas tests the political waters to see if a policy of peace and compromise might float, its enemies immediately sink it, ensuring the continuation of a needless war. When the world's attention turns from asking who pulled the trigger to asking who benefits from the carnage, then we will have taken the first step toward peace.