This situation is incredibly complicated and there are some basic facts you should know.
1. Hamas, even though it is an “elected government” (an election in which citizens of Gaza had to choose between Hamas and Fatah – another terrorist organization) is predominantly a terrorist organization. Their charter expressly states that they are committed to the destruction of Israel, which they seem prepared to achieve at all costs. They have little concern for their own people, seeing as how they use children as human shields. Israel respects the sanctity of human lives but when Hamas stores their weapons in highly populated civilian areas, there is bound to be blowback. Hamas is determined to see their goal come to fruition and unfortunately, they make innocent civilians pay the price.
2. Hamas, as the government in the Gaza Strip, has complete control over the press. There is no free press in Gaza. The number of casualties that are released to the international community is unverifiable by anyone other than Hamas, who has obvious ulterior motives. Where Hamas states that 300 are dead, it’s entirely possible that that is true. But equally as possible is that that number is completely arbitrary. Honestly, I hope that those numbers are false just for the sake of the people living in Gaza. But there’s no way of knowing for certain. And not only that, but just because one side has more casualties doesn’t mean that that that side is more justified in its cause.
3. Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is currently the governing power in Egypt. Egypt shares a border with Gaza and there are tunnels between the 2 borders which are used to smuggle weapons. Hamas has 5 different types of rockets that they have sent into Israel. Each missile has a different distance that it can cover – that’s why Tel Aviv is being shot at. It’s hard to know how many rockets are in Gaza since they are moved illegally. Additionally, Iran is one of the suppliers of these weapons, so it can be assumed that they are looking to get revenge on Israel for the sanctions that have been placed upon them. I will say that the weapons that Hamas uses are shot (not aimed) with the main intention to cause destruction, whereas Israel uses missiles, which can be aimed in order to prevent unnecessary casualties. Unfortunately nothing is foolproof and there have been civilian deaths. But of those killed in Gaza, a majority have been members of Hamas. Israel can be perceived as “perpetuating the violence against women and children”, but it’s Hamas that placed them in danger to begin with by launching these rockets.
4. Over a period of not days, not weeks, but months, Israel has taken rocket hits to the South on a daily basis, hitting a school and people’s homes. Daily life is essentially impossible due to these attacks. How long do you think that the U.S. would stand rocket attacks from Canada or Mexico before they respond? I guarantee it would be a matter of hours, not months. I can’t find an exact number, but I have found reports ranging from 600 up to 1,000 rockets being launched into Israel. And that’s in the past 5 days alone. Israel waited to respond to these attacks until it became unbearable. Which it inevitably became.
5. Israeli Arabs get to vote, have representation in the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament), and have citizenship. Their women are allowed the exact same rights at their men, which is not true of Israel’s neighbors, including Gaza. Not only that, but Israel supplies electricity, food, water, and medical supplies to the very organization that is intent upon it’s destruction. Many of those wounded in Gaza have been sent to Israel by Israel in order to receive superior medical services than they would receive in Gaza.
I hope this was helpful – I’d love to answer any questions you may have.