Outrage in the world community about Israel's invasion of Gaza ignores - possibly intentionally - the fact that Tel Aviv had a good reason to send troops into the Palestinian enclave. It is that Hamas terrorists have continued to mount rocket and mortar attacks against Israel. From sites in Gaza, Hamas has fired thousands of rounds into Israel during just the past few months.
Israeli air strikes against Hamas targets failed to knock out enough of them to ensure that the terrorists could not continue their assaults. That prompted the ground invasion, which began a few days ago.
Sadly, hundreds of Palestinian civilians have died in the fighting. Many perished because of Hamas' tactic of locating its strongholds within civilian neighborhoods. The terrorists' cynical policy is that if Israel can be provoked into killing civilians accidentally, Hamas wins a public relations victory.
Until and unless the world community unites against Hamas as so many members of it do against Tel Aviv, the Israelis cannot be blamed for defending themselves.
Instead of demanding only that Israel end its offensive, the world community, acting through the United Nations, should insist that Hamas cease its terrorist assaults, too.
And, as President Bush has pointed out, that needs to be accompanied by a reliable method of monitoring whether Hamas is complying with such a deal. Only if that happens will there be long-lasting peace between Palestinians in Gaza and the people of Israel.