The UN have condemned Israel for 'overreacting' in their airstrike attacks on the Gaza Strip*. I think in fact that Israel have acted decisively and have not overreacted at all. The attacks have real ferocity and regrettably have killed an estimated 290 Palestinians - many of them civilians. It is a miserable outcome for a poverty-stricken people living in what amounts to a large prison camp.
Hamas provoked the airstrikes by launching sustained missile attacks on Israel. The horror of civilian deaths is real but irrespective of any moral arguments the core issue is how else a country like Israel could respond to missile attacks from a group which seeks to anniliate it?
Likewise while the Palestinians grizzle about travel restrictions into and out of Gaza the culprit here is Hamas which sends suicide missions into Israel.
Residents of Gaza gave a political victory to the Hamas terrorist group which seeks the destruction of the neighbouring state that, in fact, exited the occupied Gaza in 2005. The Gaza residents are now paying a terrible price for their choices. The Hamas cowards are launching their missile attacks from civilian areas inside Gaza essentially using the civilians as human shields. To some Hamas seem to be preventing the treatment of injured Palestinian civilians in Egypt while to others Egypt has closed the border with Gaza. Both Egypt and Jordon generally don't have much of a stomach for the short-sighted and callous Hamas stupidity.
Israel is asserting a display of military might that reminds its enemies that it does have teeth after the seemingly bungled dispute with Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006 - hence the decisiveness of the current attacks. Hezbollah like Hamas is a terrorist organisation committed to the destruction of Israel. Indeed the current Israeli successes are reminiscent of the early claimed successes against Hezbollah. Hopefully the current tit-for-tat efforts will have the longer-term conclusion of forcing Hamas to negotiate a new more binding peace. The more damage that can be inflicted on Hamas the greater the likely success. indded the more damage that can be inflicted on the terrorist Hamas the better the prospects for the Palestinian people.
* Our acting PM Gillard has unhelpfully urged both sides to avoid fighting although, to be fair, she does recognise Hamas as the origin of the current problems. The real morons of the left adopt the usual 'sins on both sides' posture which again suggests Israel has no right to oppose those who seek to destroy it.