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The rage over the Hamas attack at Karni, which is used first of all by the Palestinians in Gaza, was enormous and understandable. Why kill six Israeli civilians, including two Israeli Arabs, truck drivers who carry imports and exports, merchandise and building materials to the impoverished Palestinian people? This wasn't merely terror for terror's sake, but self-destruction, suicidal, so absurd that it raises the thought that maybe outsiders like Hezbollah and Iran, which don't mind sowing destruction on the other side, were behind such actions.

Israel cannot but respond to such deeds. Those who propose doing nothing should pay attention to the fact that Israel is trapped in a situation in which it is not making the tangible preparations for the disengagement from Gaza; instead it is deteriorating into a process that could lead to disengagement from the Western Negev. Watching the reactions of the Sderot residents is proof of that, and the question is whether Ashkelon and other communities will be included in that category depends only on how much time it will take to extend the range of the Qassam.

Those who are upset about the harsh reaction the IDF was ordered to take must provide a a suitable and satisfactory answer to the people of Sderot and the relatives of those who are killed in order to keep the gateways into Gaza operating.

Israel's goal should not be cutting off contact with Abu Mazen even before he begins his term in office, but to make him take energetic, quick steps that will win the support of the Palestinian people. The ambition is not to push the Palestinians into a civil war but to establish, together with them, stability that will enable a cease-fire and political negotiations.

It is not a temporary demonstration of power for the new leader that is needed, but rather to apply pressure on him to provide steps that prove to the Palestinian people that terror is terribly harmful to their interests.

Furthermore, the goal should not be more dead Palestinians. Israel must now focus on pressure, not shedding blood. Therefore at this stage there should not be a response of pinpoint preventions and killings, because even if the IDF focuses only on the bad men - the leaders of Hamas and the armed men - harm to innocents including children will be inevitable in such a crowded battlefield.

The pressure should be conducted through the passageways that are attacked by Hamas and its partners. These passages are the lifeline for Gazans. Through them flows most of the imported food and vegetables that the Gazans export to Israel, construction material, the equipment needed to sustain the few jobs available, medicine and hospital supplies. Through those passages flow the very few who have permits to work in Israel or travel permits to Egypt and other places. If the madmen of the Hamas and their partners force the closure of those gateways by their behavior, there will be severe humanitarian harm done to the Gazan population.

It is not true the Hamas does not take into consideration the demands, pressure and needs of the population. It is always important for the Hamas to show that it cares about the population. Its leaders outside the territory, living in peace and quite far from the battles, may not always care about the local population, but that's not the case with most of the local leaders of the organization in the territories, which is evident in the debates about a cease-fire between the local and foreign leadership.

If the Palestinians and their new leaders want to protect their families, they must help Abu Mazen and the new leadership overcome the madness of the terror and the self-destruction that has infected some Palestinian groups. That is the proper response for the situation now - measured, and passing the ball over to Abu Mazen and the Palestinian population. There's no way to know if this reaction will work and at what pace, but it is clear that if it fails, the deterioration to the use of far-reaching means will become inevitable.