The Hamas organization does not hide it’s goals and deserves to be taken at face value. They are no different than many other terrorist organizations who say clearly what they believe in. A common mistake that is often made by so many is to not take the words of leaders of terrorist organizations seriously. When they say that they target civilians, they mean that they want to kill women and children. When they say that they want to destroy the State of Israel, they mean it.
The same mistake was made before World War II in the way that Japan and Germany were underestimated. Japan and Germany did not hide their ambitions to take over Europe and the East Asia area. But the Western mind, being reasonable, has a hard time imagining the level of evil that terrorists actually aspire to. Germany surprised nearly everybody except for Winston Churchill. Part of this was due to Churchill’s World War I battle experience. But even seasoned war veterans often have trouble seeing just how dangerous terrorists are.
In general, people who say they hate Jews and want to create an Arab State “from the river to the sea” actually mean it. Part of the reason that the American government had so much trouble managing the war in Vietnam was the underestimation of the determination of the Vietcong. They were willing to lose a hundred thousand fighters. But the US Defense Leadership thought that after killing tens of thousands of Vietcong, the other side would surrender. They had completely underestimated the enemy. That is one of the key lessons to always learn from past military failures.
Israel must listen to the words of the enemy. They don’t want peace. That is not their aspiration. Israel cannot treat the Hamas as a small militia that has no strategic possibility of driving it into the sea. The Hamas is well funded by Iran, the EU, and UN money. All of the “humanitarian” money ends up in the hands of the terrorists, and most create a massive underground terror infrastructure that is focused on creating havoc in Israel – and ultimately driving Israel into the sea. Iran’s proxies know that they cannot destroy Israel, but they are always trying to encroach and weaken Israel – one salami piece at a time. Prime Minister Netanyahu has not succeeded in disarming the Hamas, but he has largely kept the Hamas from spreading beyond Gaza. The last operation did not complete the job, but it set the Hamas back a few years – till the next round.