It seems that violence in the Middle East will never go away. We can all hope for peace, but acquiring seems to be beyond the world's grasp.
That sad state of affairs has been reiterated once again as Israel has launched days of air strikes in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for hundreds of rocket attacks that have been fired into Israel since Hamas, which has a stated goal of wiping out the Jewish state, gained power of Gaza from its Fatah rivals.
The return fire by Israel started Nov. 14 and hasn't let up, bringing the Palestinian death toll to at least 100, half of whom were civilians.
In that time, Israel, which has lost three civilians to Hamas' rockets, has attacked nearly 1,400 targets and utilized its Iron Dome rocket defense system to knock out about half of the nearly 600 rockets Hamas has fired in that time period.
While there have been calls for truce, nothing is likely to stick, especially when you consider that some of the rockets being shot into Israel are being fired by competing Palestinian factions vying for political power.
It's not a recipe for resolution.
What does Israel want? It wants what any nation wants -- security for its people. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, no country should be required to stand and watch its civilians be attacked by missile fire.
But in attempting to ensure that security, Israel and the Palestinians are necessarily at odds. Israel seven years ago ended its 38-year occupation of the Gaza Strip, but it has maintained a blockade of Gaza to keep weapons -- such as missiles -- out of the hands of people who have a demonstrated desire to use them against Israelis.
What would it take to make the violence stop? Israel would need an internationally-backed guarantee that the rocket attacks will stop, along with the stoppage of weapons flowing into Gaza. Hamas wants the blockade lifted and for Israel to stop targeting its leadership for assassination.
The ultimate solution will require an unlikely change of heart -- Israel's enemies will have to accept the fact that the Jewish state is there and has a right to exist. As long as the fundamentals underlying the situation remain Arab nations and groups wanting to eradicate Israel, outbreaks of violence will occur.
Otherwise, the best anyone can hope for is a cease fire, one that will never be anything more than temporary.