From where I'm sitting, it seems like the pattern so far is a repeat of 2008-9 (Operation Cast Lead, in which we killed some 700-1000 civilians.) It works like this: Air Force gets sent in for surgical strikes against Hamas targets. In the first day or two, there are hardly any civilian casualties. Then the more isolated targets have all been reduced to dust and the Air Force begins targeting Hamas targets in densely-populated areas, increasing civilian casualties. Then they get sloppy and murder a whole innocent family because someone didn't double-check they were hitting the right house.
The only difference as far as I can tell, apart from the fact the IDF has not started the imminent ground invasion so far, is that targeting has become a bit more accurate. And I'm not entirely certain of that.
On the other hand, there's the major difference in Gazan missile range. This might not seem like a big deal to all y'all but here in Israel we're already used to ignoring the fuck out of the South from back in the day when all they suffered from was massive unemployment and pollution. The media and the public are treating the rockets on Tel Aviv like they're the first ones that even count. Like shit only just got real.
But on the Israeli public opinion front, there's a massive difference, in that this time, almost *everyone* seems to be apprehensive about the whole thing and outspokenly against a ground invasion. But it seems that Netanyahu is pulling the usual "peace talks" schtick of placing such high requirements that Hamas has no choice but to refuse the ceasefire.
I'm not optimistic about the outcome. Despite the public outcry, this is going to end like it started, as a tragicomic replay of Cast Lead, meaning obscene Pal civilian casualties to a handful of Israeli casualties, meaning continued hostilities on the Gazan border after the end of the massacre, and meaning increased Israeli isolation on the international front. My light at the end of the tunnel is that the elections might pull us a tad to the left this time, rather than to the far right like after Cast Lead.
(I sound detached because I'm trying not to scream. My sister lives in Tel Aviv and I'm going there on Wednesday, like I do every week. A bunch of my childhood friends are already, or are about to be, on Reserve military duty. And I'm very fond of this country and don't want it to become more hellish than it already is. At least I'm not worried about rockets on Jerusalem, where I am; that's not going to become a serious threat.)