Israel Policy Forum condemns Hamas and Islamic Jihad for their indiscriminate rocket and mortar fire at Israeli cities and towns that is solely intended to kill, injure, and terrorize Israeli civilians. This terrorism is abhorrent and must be met not only by an Israeli military response that targets the ability of terror organizations to develop and launch rockets at Israel, but by universal and unreserved condemnation by the international community and every responsible world state. There is no justification for the more than one hundred attempts yesterday alone to destroy Israeli life and property, and it must be understood that this is a terrorist barrage rather than a “cycle of violence.”

While reports of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire are encouraging, risks of continuing rocket fire and a larger conflagration will remain unless something more is done to fundamentally change the environment and conditions that make Gaza so unstable. This includes Israel’s ongoing military efforts to contain Hamas’s capabilities and deter it from committing acts of terror but must also include some mechanism for reducing Hamas’s absolute control of Gaza and addressing the dire humanitarian crisis that impacts the two million Palestinians living there. Israelis cannot continue with Red Alerts as a routine feature of daily life, and Palestinians in Gaza cannot continue to subsist on such sub-standard living conditions. Until a military solution is twinned with a political solution, neither Israelis living in southern Israel nor Palestinians living in Gaza will experience the sense of normalcy that they deserve.