Yonah, you claim that Gaza poses such a severe challenge that nothing can be done.
Actually, a lot can be done, and almost everything that has been done is wrong.
Israel chose to try to punish the entire population of Gaza as a way to try to get them to institute a regime change by overthrowing Hamas. The greatest part of this strategy is the crippling blockade on Gaza, which is entirely responsible for the “economic and physical desperation of Gaza.” Yes, Egypt also bears some responsibility for assisting Israel in blockading Gaza, but Israel is the responsible party. Israel claims that the blockade is entirely for “security reasons”. This a a bald-faced lie.
If Israel wants to inspect all goods entering Gaza, they can do that. Certainly there are things that they don’t want to let in for legitimate security reasons (missiles, high explosives, etc.). If they want to search all travelers on their way out of Gaza, fine. If they even want to ensure that any such travelers are immediately transported out of not just Gaza but Israel, using secure transport, fine. They can decide who is allowed to enter their territory. But what danger is it to allow sealed exports from Gaza, even if you prevent exports to the West Bank or Israel? There’s no security reason there whatsoever.
But Israel went way further than that… they put Gaza “on a diet”. They restricted the amount (and types) of food allowed to be imported. Not weapons… food. They severely (almost entirely) restricted any exports, intentionally crippling Gaza’s economy. And whenever they decided to “mow the lawn”, they intentionally targeted Gaza’s civilian infrastructure in order to further damage Gaza’s economy. All of that along with the travel restrictions that prevented any of the Gazans who used to commute to work in southern Israel, also taking a severe toll on the economy of Gaza.
Israel has produced exactly what Israel planned all along for Gaza. As one Israeli general (IIRC) put it, “We’ll bomb them back to the stone age”.
Israel’s biggest moral failing is that they do not respect the human rights of others and are quite happy to collectively punish millions of people, whether in Gaza or the West Bank, in order to try to obtain whatever it is they think they want, whether that is regime change, land, more settlements, valuable resources such as natural gas or petroleum, whatever. Basically, Israel is the Mafia, they have the guns and they’ll take what they want.