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Israel has three options in Gaza

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When Palestinians launched the Great March of Return on March 30, Israel sensed an opportunity for confrontation. It started sniping down one unarmed protester after the other, while blasting propaganda about how these Palestinians constituted a "threat" to its security and how it had the "right to defend itself".

To date, Israeli soldiers have killed more than 120 peaceful Palestinian protesters. But the Israelis did not stop there.

As international public opinion swung dangerously against their favour, the Israeli occupation forces began to respond to the peaceful demonstrations by targeting armed resistance groups in Gaza, bombing their training grounds, arms storage, tunnels and logistics capabilities, as well as assassinating several of their members.

The Israeli army had no justification for these attacks; it simply wanted to enforce a new reality on the ground: That peaceful resistance would be met with brute force and any escalation would be followed by a broader military assault.

After some deliberation, a military response was launched from Gaza. Many within the armed resistance groups were convinced that Israel should not be allowed to impose this new reality on the ground and should be shown that there will be a response to its military assaults.

What this episode shows, however, is that it is increasingly difficult for Israel to maintain the status quo.........

© Al Jazeera