Just before Israel began their ground offensive in Gaza, their forces spotted a group of heavily armed Hamas terrorists emerging from an underground tunnel into Israeli territory, evidently heading towards an Israeli village. The tunnel was part of an extensive network.
"I can't imagine anything more terrifying," said one Israeli. "They're armed with machine guns, anti-tank missiles, grenades and a few thousand rounds of ammunition, tranquillisers and handcuffs and they're coming for you and they're coming for your children. . ."
To find and destroy the tunnels, the Israelis say, was why the ground offensive became necessary.
Not that the Israelis are having it all their own way. With 29 soldiers killed and international airlines cancelling flights to Tel Aviv airport because a Hamas rocket landed a distance away, they are having a big price to pay.
Why do rockets continue to fall into Israel? The Washington Post doubtless has the truth.
"So far Hamas's campaign against Israel has been a dismal failure. Thanks in part to Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system, some 1,200 rockets fired at Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities have caused only one Israeli death and a few other casualties. Attempted commando attacks via the sea and a tunnel were stopped short, and a drone that ventured into Israel was quickly shot down. . .
"Why would Hamas insist on continuing the fight when it is faring so poorly? The only plausible answer is stomach-turning: The Islamic movement calculates that it can win the concessions it has yet to obtain from Israel and Egypt not by striking Israel but by perpetuating the killing of its own people in Israeli counterattacks. . . Hamas probably calculates that more deaths will prompt Western governments to pressure Israel to grant Hamas's demands."
US columnist Charles Krauthammer says while Hamas deliberately aims rockets at civilians, Israel painstakingly tries to avoid them, actually telephoning civilians in the area and dropping warning charges, so-called roof knocking.
The whole point of Hamas's rockets, he says, is to draw Israeli counterfire.
"This produces dead Palestinians for international television. Which is why Hamas perversely urges its own people not to seek safety when Israel drops leaflets warning of an imminent attack.
"It's to the Israelis' credit that amid all this madness [the depravity of Hamas, the world's treatment of Israel and the UN's incessant condemnations] they haven't lost their moral scruples. Or their nerve. Those outside the region have the minimum obligation, therefore, to expose the madness and speak the truth. Rarely has it been so blindingly clear."