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Israel misreads Hamas and Palestinians' will to attack

Despite Israeli assessments to the contrary, Hamas proved quite willing to step up rocket attacks, and the Palestinian street was more than ready for riot and revolt.
A Palestinian stone-thrower takes cover behind a street pole during clashes with Israeli police in Shuafat, an Arab suburb of Jerusalem, July 3, 2014. Israel faced a second day of violent Palestinian protests in Jerusalem on Thursday after the discovery of the body of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy on Wednesday in a forest near the city. Police clashed with a few dozen stone-throwing Palestinians in Shuafat, but the violence was on a much smaller scale than on Wednesday. REUTERS/Ammar Awad (JERUSALEM - Tags:

Within a 24-hour span, two of the Israeli defense establishment's long-standing and well-established basic premises were disproved. The first one was that Hamas had been deterred. Seeking to de-escalate the situation, the reasoning went, Hamas was interested in quiet at any cost.

The second premise was that the outbreak of a third intifada in the territories was improbable. There was no negative energy or critical mass or gas fumes that could blow up at any given time. According to that premise, the Palestinian population wanted quiet. Having grown weary of the long years of confrontation, it wanted to improve its standard of living.

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