For any government, ensuring the security of its citizens is paramount . . .It sounds to me as if Israel has a large number of options. Even good options have drawbacks. The question in each case is whether the drawback is more objectionable than the continued Qassam attacks. Any elected government that decides on a policy of firing missiles at an other country pretty much acquires total responsibility for any damages which ensue in the event that the other country has the means to defend itself. That should dispose of a number of these objections. Or it would in a sane world. Or in an insane world that contained a sane Israel.
One possibility might be to explore the Hamas leadership's apparent interest in some kind of ceasefire . . . But the Israelis clearly want to do nothing that would give Hamas a breathing space to consolidate its control in Gaza . . .
The Israeli cabinet decision to declare the Gaza Strip hostile territory . . . talks of steps to reduce the supply of fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip . . . But this will only be seen by Palestinians as a form of collective punishment . . .
A major incursion of long duration would risk significant Palestinian civilian and Israeli military casualties.
Israel could re-occupy the north-eastern part of the Gaza Strip and push back the rocket launchers, but for how long would it stay? [...]
Some analysts have reluctantly suggested that the preferred option might be a return to the targeted killing of senior Hamas leaders . . . But this too raises all sorts of issues . . . Such a step would inevitably draw strong criticism from abroad, further damaging Israel's diplomatic standing. [...]
Crossposted on Soccer Dad