Israel and its apologists still see the rockets fired from Gaza as the trump argument for the blockade and anything else they do. "Poor innocent us, for no reason the rockets were launched against Israel."
The article below, from The Guardian in 2008 gives a clear picture of what was happening. Unlike the US mainstream media (and the supposed liberal media) The Guardian reporter gives the full story. Israel was bombing Gaza, killing civilians virtually at random and rockets were fired back in retaliation. This extended over many years before the December/January 2008/9 Israeli attack on Gaza.
Less than 50 Israelis were killed by Hamas or other Gaza group's rockets and more than 1000 Palestinians died. This is before Cast Lead where 1400 Gazans were killed (nearly all civillians).
WHY WERE THE ROCKETS FIRED FROM GAZA INTO ISRAEL? BECAUSE ISRAEL WAS REGULARLY BOMBING AND SHELLING GAZA. This suggests a policy that Israel could pursue: don't bomb Gaza and see the results...to much for stumblebum hacks like Jerry Nadler or Chuck Schumer to figure out.
Gaza: Israel's previous attacks
Air strikes in Gaza follow series of operations dating back to 2006, when Hamas won Palestinian elections
* Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem
* guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 30 December 2008 12.56 GMT
* Article history
Israel's four-day bombing campaign in Gaza is the latest in a series of military operations dating back to 2006, when Hamas won the Palestinian elections.
All have had the publicly stated aim of stopping rocket fire into southern Israeli towns. They have claimed hundreds of Palestinian lives.
At the same time, Israel has imposed tighter and tighter economic restrictions, which now amount to a blockade of the Gaza Strip under which only limited humanitarian supplies are allowed in.
Yet these measures have so far failed to halt militant rockets.
As soon as the Hamas-dominated parliament was sworn in, Israel froze contacts with what it called the "terrorist" Palestinian Authority and blocked the transfer of tax and customs receipts, worth about $50m a month.
Israel said Hamas should renounce violence, recognise Israel's right to exist and accept previous peace agreements. It began regular closures of the Karni crossing, the main commercial goods terminal between Israel and Gaza.
Soon the EU – the largest single donor to the Palestinians – and later the rest of the international community suspended all direct aid to the Palestinian Authority.
Over several weeks, the Israeli military fired artillery rounds into Gaza and bombed buildings, killing several Palestinians. Israel said it was trying to stop militant rockets attacks. In late June 2006, after an Israeli soldier was captured by Palestinian militants and taken into Gaza, the military launched a major operation, sending in troops and bombing bridges, buildings, roads and Gaza's sole power plant.
After two months of bombing and ground raids, the Israeli operation – codenamed Summer Rain – had killed at least 240 Palestinians. At least half were civilians, including 48 children.
In November 2006 Israel mounted a six-day ground invasion of the town of Beit Hanoun, in an area of northern Gaza frequently used by militants launching rockets. The raid, codenamed Autumn Clouds, killed at least 50 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier.
The day after the Israeli military withdrew, another 18 Palestinians, all from the same family in Beit Hanoun, were killed when their house was hit by a volley of Israeli artillery shells.
Late the same month, a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza was finally established, running for nearly six months until Hamas started firing rockets again. Israel restarted its air strikes on Gaza and threatened to kill Hamas leaders.
After Hamas seized full control of Gaza in late June 2007, following a near civil war with its rival Fatah, Israel stepped up its air raids. On a single day in June, 12 Palestinians were killed in what an Israeli minister called "preventive measures" against rocket attacks from Gaza.
At the same time, Israel tightened its economic blockade, reducing the flow of goods into Gaza to a bare minimum, stopping all exports and placing severe limits on those Palestinians it allowed to leave Gaza through Israel. By September it had declared Gaza a "hostile territory" as militant rocket attacks and Israeli military raids continued.
A new round of US-sponsored peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians began at a summit in Annapolis, in the US, in November 2007 – but the conflict in Gaza continued. Militants fired rockets into southern Israel and the Israeli military staged small-scale incursions and air strikes, killing dozens of Palestinians, both civilians and militants.
The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said his military was fighting a "true war" against militant groups in Gaza and ruled out the possibility of another ceasefire.
In January this year, Israel launched an incursion into al-Zaitoun, east of Gaza City – in a single day killing at least 18 Palestinians, including the son of Gaza's most powerful Hamas leader.
On the same day, a volunteer farmer from Ecuador was killed by a Palestinian sniper while working at a communal farm across the boundary in Israel. It was the heaviest day of fighting in Gaza for more than a year.
Israel then tightened its restrictions on deliveries into Gaza, including fuel, forcing the power plant to shut down for several days. In late January, crowds of thousands of desperate Palestinians forced their way over the border wall out of Gaza and into Egypt.
Israeli air strikes continued after Hamas claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in which an Israeli woman and 11 others were injured in the Israeli city of Dimona. It marked the first return to suicide bombings in Israel by Hamas for more than three years.
In late February the Israeli military mounted another major operation in Gaza, this time sending troops into the eastern town of Jabaliya. In the space of five days around 120 Palestinians were killed, at least half of them civilians. Three Israelis died.
But the raid failed to halt the rocket fire, and in the weeks afterwards there were other clashes in Gaza and near the border, killing six Israelis, four of them soldiers, and dozens of Palestinians, among them a Reuters television cameraman and, in a separate incident, a mother and her four children.
Eventually, after much mediation by Egypt, a ceasefire between Israel and militants in Gaza was again established in June. It ran until November, when it began to break down with violations on both sides, and collapsed in mid-December to bring the latest Israeli bombing campaign of Gaza, codenamed Cast Lead, which has so far killed at least 360 Palestinians.
In the past eight years, the militant rockets and mortars fired from Gaza that have become such a powerful issue for the Israeli government have killed 20 people inside Israel. Three of those were killed on Monday, including a soldier, and one died on Saturday when the bombing first started.
Israeli attacks on Palestinian territories
January 2006: Israel fires artillery rounds into Gaza and bombs buildings after Hamas wins Palestinian elections
June 2006: Operation Summer Rain follows the capture of an Israeli soldier. A total of 240 Palestinians are killed in two months of bombing and ground raids
November 2006: Operation Autumn Clouds, a six-day ground invasion of Beit Hanoun, results in at least 50 Palestinian deaths. Another 18 from one family are killed in artillery shelling
June 2007: Israel steps up air raids after Hamas seizes control of Gaza
January 2008: A total of 18 Palestinians are killed in one day in an Israeli incursion into al-Zaytoun
February 2008: Israeli troops go into Jabaliya; around 120 Palestinians are killed in five days
December 2008: Operation Cast Lead is launched. At least 360 Palestinians are killed in the first four days