The standard story in the Western Mass Media is that it is Hamas rocket attacks that made the Israel response mandatory. That Hamas was itself responding to Israeli attacks is never mentioned. In fact the whole Gaza conflict is widely reported in the West as a justified response to Hamas rocket attacks and as a clear case of jusified self defence by a democracy against the barbaric indiscriminate attacks upon innocents by a terrorist organisation dedicated to the destruction of Israel. There is a great deal of truth in this it is what is left out of the story that is astonishing. No mention of the situation that Israel has itself created in Gaza which has made Gaza into a huge prison with no control over its borders and dependent upon Israel for water electricity--fuel for generators, etc. etc. Nothing about the disproportianate nature of the Israeli response or bombing and artillery shelling in densely populated areas and also it seems phosphorus shells. Nothing about settler incursions or Israeli continual violation of UN resolutions. The difference between Western and Arab accounts of Gaza are well documented in this article at informationclearinghouse.
In contrast to the official Israeli rationale, Palestinians, Israeli journalists, Israeli writers and Israeli peace activists trace the breakdown of the truce to an Israeli Defense Force (IDF) military operation that raided a tunnel between Gaza and Egypt and led to the deaths of six Palestinians as the tipping point that precipitated the subsequent escalation of rocket fire from Gaza. On the fifth of November the morning news reported that Barack Obama had been elected to replace George Bush, and on that very day the IDF raided the tunnel killing six Palestinians in the process. In the aftermath of the tunnel raid, Hamas escalated rocket fire ultimately resulting in the death of one Israeli prior to the launch of Operation Cast Lead.