Here is what it looks like to me. Israel is not targeting Hamas. Israel is not targeting Hamas’ rockets. Israel is targeting the civilian population, houses, hospitals, schools, and supermarkets. Israel is targeting tunnels that allow the Palestinians to bypass the economic blockade. What sense does it make, if any?
By destroying civilian infrastructure, by causing enough death and suffering, Israel is hoping to ethnically cleanse Gaza. Having a choice, people will leave and settle somewhere else, where they can have security and normal life. Israel knows that this is a long process and one invasion, one military operation may not achieve this goal. Therefore, Israel needs armed Hamas in Gaza as a pretext for future repeats.
At the same time, Israel is hoping that the people of Gaza will start blaming Hamas for their misery and, consequently, will get rid of Hamas altogether. At this point, the people of Gaza will accept their defeat.
In the first case, Israel will annex Gaza as a no man’s land. In the second, the remaining Palestinians will be assimilated and the land will be as good as Israeli. Both outcomes would be good for Israel. Looking at the situation on the ground, it seems that this is the plan.
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