No. 1. This most recent outbreak of violence represents the opening round of the third Palestinian intifada. The first intifada, which began in 1987 and petered out in the early 1990s, was an uprising of stones and Molotov cocktails. The second intifada, which began 12 years ago, was an uprising of suicide bombers. The third uprising, inevitably, was going to feature rockets and missiles. I don’t care to think about what sorts of weapons and tactics will feature in the fourth intifada…

No. 5. Israel, unlike Hamas, has no strategy in Gaza. It has only tactics. Israel is justified in defending itself. It isn’t tenable for a sovereign state to allow its citizens to go unprotected from rocket attacks from someone else’s territory. If Russia or the U.S. had come under similar attack, those responsible would almost immediately find themselves dead. All of them. But for Israel, military victory over Hamas is impossible, which is why a ground invasion of Gaza is a bad idea. So long as Hamas maintains the capability to fire even one rocket into Israel, or dispatch one suicide bomber to a Tel Aviv cafe, it will view itself as having won this round.

For a while, at least, expect Hamas to have more difficulty launching attacks. It has, after all, lost much of its rocket force as well as its military commander, the allegedly indispensable Ahmed al-Jabari. But I’ve been to the funerals of four or five indispensable Hamas men over the years, and they are always replaced. Short-term, it is possible that Hamas will refrain from firing rockets and keep others from doing so as well. But there is no long-term military solution for Israel, short of turning Gaza into Chechnya or Dresden. This is militarily feasible, but it would be immoral and would end in Israel losing its international legitimacy.