IDF’s dual mission: Searching for the teens, weakening Hamas | The Times of Israel   Israel’s security forces are carrying out two linked but not identical campaigns — hunting for the kidnap victims and drastically debilitating Hamas in the West Bank

Israel to worsen conditions for Hamas prisoners | The Times of Israel  Cabinet seeks to pressure the terror group to release the 3 kidnapped teens; additional measures to be implemented

While these reports  – and others like them – might be considered part and parcel of the natural Israeli reaction to the kidnapping of three teenage boys, a query might be raised if such responses are going to become the norm where incidents of this type and many others of similar standing are concerned.

Looking at the larger picture and from the most objective vantage point possible, can it be said that this crime and the subsequent hunt for its victims and those responsible is being handled in a way that moves matters forward and not backwards in the great scheme of things?

Even an excessively lenient interpretation of what has happened thus far cannot support the contention that all this has brought Palestinians and Israelis closer together, bonding as one in common cause.

And yet surely this must be the ultimate aim if the overall situation is ever to be remedied and a lasting peace established between the two sides.

The question therefore is this. Can such departures from what is universally accepted as civilised behaviour become a factor in forcing the benefits of change and reconciliation upon a region that has been very much in need of both for generations? And other places as well?

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