Israel’s resort to military means in Gaza should come as no surprise. Israel has been bombarded by thousands of rockets for the past eight years, especially since their unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005. In the most recent incitement of war, Hamas shot over 300 rockets into southern Israel from Dec. 19 to Dec. 27.

Israel finally decided to retaliate in defense of their citizens. As Barack Obama said on his visit to Israel this past July, “If somebody was sending rockets into my house, where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”

Recently, Israel’s air strike has strategically targeted known Hamas outposts comprised of weaponry and militants. Israel has taken great strides in attempting to decrease the number of civilian casualties by sending leaflets and making house calls to targets that are to be hit and the surrounding homes. Israel has also provided thousands of pounds of humanitarian aid for Gaza, to help protect civilian communities. On Dec. 31 alone, Israel sent 93 trucks carrying 2,797 pounds of humanitarian aid.

It is devastating that Palestinian civilians are being caught between Israel and Hamas’ battle. However, it is even more unfortunate that Hamas uses civilians as shields and their homes as posts for weapons and communication.

Hopefully, with Israel’s newest efforts on the ground in Gaza, this conflict will soon end, the rocket fire into Israel will cease, and future attempts for peace can become more viable.