This morning gunmen opened fire on a bus, a private car and a couple of other vehicles in the south of Israel. Apparently, there had been some intelligence (from Jordan?) that something was going to happen in the south, and we know that the last month or so has seen a number of rockets landing in that region. Luckily, due to the sparse population there, these rockets caused little damage. But they were nonetheless a sign that things were stirring.
And so 7 Israelis are dead and many more injured. Some soldiers going on weekend leave, others civilians.
So now the ball is in Israel's court - what should she do? What will she do? Do we even need to ask this question?
Of course Israel has the right to defend herself, but attacking Gaza (as has already happened as I write this post) hasn't worked to defend Israel up until now. As Albert Einstein said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Yossi Gurvitz gives an excellent explanation of why Israel shouldn't attack Gaza on +972 Magazine.
Just as Palestinian (PRC? jihadist??) attacks on Israel do little to advance the Palestinian cause, Israeli revenge attacks do little to secure Israel. In both cases the only ones to benefit are those who want to stick obstinately to their guns (no pun intended) instead of moving forward towards a resolution. In Gaza, Hamas can say they are fighting the Zionist enemy and working to liberate the land, unlike Fatah. Of course Hamas knows Israel's likely response and so they can point to Israel and say "Look, we told you so! The evil Zionists want to kill all Palestinians!" Of course, Israel does herself no favours by playing directly into the hands of Hamas by doing exactly what Hamas wants: getting provoked and responding on a scale that dwarfs whatever attack she has recently suffered. Currently there is an additional bonus for the Israeli government enacting a large-scale response in that it would be a distraction from the j14 demonstrations.
I don't have an answer, but I do know that the ordinary people of Israel or Palestine gain nothing from this cycle of violence.