fact one: israel will not back off from its offensive before george "dubya" bush is out of the white house, bar an almost impossible capitulation from hamas.
fact two: hamas is virtually dead.
true, it is pictured as a victimized hero of the philistines under israeli fire but it already fell far short of hezbollah of lebanon in representing and protecting the interests of its cohorts and backers. unlike hezbollah, hamas only won the elections because the fatah clique was unbearably incompetent and corrupt and simply unbearable. however, little changed for the better in gaza since, except hamas got more despotic.
fact three: a divided palestine can stand no chance at all and it is divided beyond repair as long as hamas has any mandate at all, in or out of gaza. philistines are tarnished with that third world bane that bans them from seeking their interests in confrontation and conflict, rather than competition.
fact four: a true, i.e., effective and workable reunion of philistines is less likely than an accomodation between palestinians (1) and israel. fatahi palestine has nothing to offer the gazai - whereas, once the hamas mentality is suppressed, as it can not be eradicated, plenty of jobs and means of livelihood are likely to be available within israel; a far more effective promise and cure than the dubious yields of incessant intra-philistine politicking and bickering.
fact five: reading all accounts of so called "israeli atrocities against gaza's civilians", in most cases if not in each case, some hunted philistine can be discerned hiding among his family members, under a wife's skirts or a baby's crib - more often than not, using that location as a "trench" to fight against israeli soldiers, therefore practically "inviting" havoc on those beside him. according to hamas ideology, that constitutes "martyrdom". civilians are not ttrained or experienced in guerilla warfare, therefore, they are expendable as propaganda material in order to promote the anti-sionist cause.
fact six: currently, civilian philistine casualties, especially the children, are fodder for the hamas propaganda machine but not for long in all probability. the outlook and rationale of hamas spokesmen toward the rockets they deliberately fire on israeli territories where no military targets exist, is that they have killed "so few civilians", while israeli forces destroy wholesale. in the hamas weltanschauung, human life is valued only by numbers and is problematic only after so many deaths occur.
as passions subside and some logic begins to rear its ugly head in the way people of the world concieve the events in gaza, the utterly vile psychosis revealed in the hamas view is bound to be recognized, turning the psychological and emotional tide, if not toward israel, away from the palestinians, condemning them to further isolation and destituiton.
hamas claims that the last episode of war and violence in gaza was caused not by their indiscriminate rocket fire on israeli civilians but by "israeli occupation". assuming that to be right, the occupation of 1967 was the result of a spectacular israeli victory at the end of a war that lasted only six days, which was started by a united arab front that overwhelmingly outnumbered jewish forces. the "occupation" was the consequence of a response in self defense and gaza itself was "won" from egypt in the six-days-war. the same applies if hamas, true to its absurd philosophy that israel's existence should be terminated, is refering to the 1948 war.
fact seven: this is the last chance for israel to pave the way to some form of permanent peace. not only does its own weal is dependent on it, but also continued disruption between it and any form of islamic political entities will reverberate through the entire eurasian region.
in this war, israel is the "frontiersman", the pioneer, the vanguard in the clash between modern civilization and non-modern or counter-modern political (2) systems; or under pain of over-simplification; between cultures that venerate life and cultures of death and opiates - from opium derivatives to religious fanaticism. since all-out combat, a readiness and willingness to die and kill are weapons true to the latter, it will not suffice for israel to vanquish hamas in combat.
the real enemy is the poverty, the backwardness, the suffering, the wretchedness that has plagued philistines in the last century.
and it has to be israel's ultimate target, endeavor and mission to overcome that scourge of its primary neighbors. the best defense force against hamas is not the rather capable israeli army but palestinians looking forward to a feasible future of welfare, peace and harmony.
(*) i say palestinians because it is now practically impossible to speak of a "palestinian authority", if it ever existed outside the personal charisma of the late yasir arafat
(***) i use "political" in reference to the helenic polis, signifying any and all aspects of social life therein.