Israel launched an air raid on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip today. At least 225 have been killed, including many high-ranking Hamas leaders. The Israeli raid was carried out in direct response to ongoing Hamas rocket attacks on Israel over the preceding months and years. Hamas is recognized by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization, and they act as the de-facto leadership body in the Gaza Strip having seized control of the territory from the Democratically-elected Palestinian National Authority.

Hamas has threatened retaliation against Israel, though it was Hamas aggression and rocket attacks the precipitated this increase in hostilities. In fact, recent Hamas rocket attacks followed Israel’s humanitarian 10-day border opening allowing medical supplies and food into Gaza from Israel.

As is often the case, the mainstream media has portrayed this as a unilateral Israeli attack and there has been widespread condemnation from governments in the middle-east and elsewhere. Media reports have generally failed to provide any context regarding Hamas rocket attacks that set off these hostilities, the humanitarian border opening, or the general context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Before judging the ‘right and wrong’ of the conflict or of this recent flare-up, it i imperative that you learn the context. This requires effort on your part, since the version presented by the media is generally one-sided and inaccurate.