It has been shocking and painful to watch the tragedy unfolding between Israelis and Palestinians following Hamas' brutal attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

Around 35,000 Palestinians, and counting, have died in Gaza as Israel continues its defensive operation to wipe out the apocalyptic terrorist organization Hamas. These deaths have been accompanied by starvation, unspoken health issues and conditions that no human should endure.

Make no mistake though, Hamas is a rational actor. It has vowed to destroy Israel and its leaders made the strategic calculation that their attack on the Jewish state would have to be so inhumane, brutal and heinous that Israel could not but respond heavy-handedly. The Hamas leadership knew that Israel’s response would end up killing thousands of Palestinians in Gaza — a human disaster that they hoped would turn the Middle East and much of the world against Israel.