The Israeli government insists that it tries to contain the situation in Gaza, and to prevent unnecessary escalation that would cost more lives on both sides. However, Alex Fishman, the military correspondent for Yedioth Ahronoth (Israel’s leading daily paper) is not convinced, to say the least [Hebrew Link from 7th eye site]:
“The Chief-of-Staff, Benny Gantz, declared yesterday that Israel was not interested in an escalation in the Gaza Strip, but Southern Command’s activity sends the exact opposite message,” wrote Alex Fishman this morning in Yediot Acharonot. “[...] The more our side does not want an escalation, the more the border region gets heated up and by now we’ve had a week of it. Last night towns and villages were on alert for rockets and mortars. So whom to believe, the statements or the actions on the ground? [...] Last night the IDF carried out targeted killings. A targeted killing is not just another step in an uncontrolled deteriorating spiral. It is a clear evidence of a planned escalation.”
[h/t and translation - Sol Salbe of the Middle East News Service].
On Haaretz, Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff think that both Israel and Hamas “apparently have difficulty stopping (the escalation). ” Needless to say, even if Netanyahu did try to calm things down, recent events serve him well, both at home and with the international community. One might say the same thing for certain elements of Hamas.