While inciting Palestinians into violence against Israel and her people, Hamas seems to want it both ways, also trying to focus on Palestinian suffering. Writing at JNS, Dr. Eran Lerman points out the absurdity in Hamas' logic of insisting to the world that the Palestinians are not responsible for the very rocket attacks they perpetrate:
To an observer from another planet, the conduct of Hamas’s leadership would look like utter madness, akin to a visitor at a zoo entering the lion’s cage—or sending his kids inside—with a sharp stick to poke the lions to see what happens.
There’s a type of “self-racism” involved—a demand of the world to treat the Palestinians, due to their “suffering,” as not responsible for their actions in shooting another rocket at central Israel. To provoke a military power such as Israel in such a manner, without the possibility of securing anything of significant strategic value, is in hindsight an act of defiance whose sole purpose is to show that they are beyond the point of desperation.
In actuality, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and his cohort—who believe that according to their logic, stretching tensions to the brink is a rational move—will soon realize that this was a critical misstep on their part. Their goal is to increase even further their leverage points in the negotiations that Egypt is currently mediating, to divert the attention of the local population from the recent anti-Hamas demonstrations, and to lash out against the brutal pressure mechanisms being applied by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, despite the despair it is causing his people.
The Israel Defense Forces will inevitably respond in a manner that is harsher than usual—not because the blood of the residents of central Israel is more valuable than that of Israelis who live near Gaza, but because of the emerging need to show Hamas that it has wrongly read the map...