Hamas bears sole responsibility for the situation in the Gaza Strip. It has refused to comply with international demands to recognize Israel's right to exist and cease terrorist operations. It launched scores of rocket attacks each day at Israeli population centers. It cynically and deliberately put ordinary Palestinians in harm's way by establishing its terrorist infrastructure – manufacturing, storage, training and strategic planning – within densely populated areas, in the midst of homes, schools, mosques and hospitals.
Despite the fact that rockets continued to rain down on its citizens, throughout the operation Israel ensured the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza. Israeli government officials met regularly with representatives from the United Nations and humanitarian organizations to ensure that Gazans were provided with the necessary aid, food and medical supplies.