Violence in Gaza continues

Violence in the Middle East is not a new thing. For hundreds of years, there has been war, strife, poverty and destruction, with untold damage done. The latest development in this seemingly unending fugue is Operation Protective Edge, the deadliest military operation in Gaza in over ten years.
The question is, why is there fighting? What happened that necessitated such a use of force, what could have been done to prevent it, and why wasn’t it prevented? Things all started when an independent group of Palestinians kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenagers on their way home from school. This in and of itself was a huge tragedy, an unconscionable act that cannot be justified in any way. However, it was a human tragedy, and called for a humanitarian response. Instead, a military response occurred, and even though evidence pointed to the fact that the boys were dead, that fact was withheld from the Israeli public, and military forces were sent into Gaza to rescue the boys.
Within a week, over 200 arrests were made, with the Israeli military sweeping refugee camps looking for anybody connected to Hamas.  According to the IDF chief of staff, the arrests had nothing to do with attempting to find the kidnapped teens or those responsible. With IDF night raids becoming commonplace, with movement restricted for Gazans, with IDF control of the sea and air, the overuse of power in this circumstance can only be seen as provocation by Israel.
It should be no surprise that Palestinians are fighting back, it should be no surprise that violence has escalated, with homemade rockets being fired into Israel. The arrests were not without incident, with civilians being shot and killed. At what point did anybody ever say “Well gee, it appears that the people that have been oppressing us have killed more of our people and destroyed more of our property. I guess I’ll put down my gun, go home, and stop fighting.”? That’s right, never. Violence begets violence, and only the pathologically blind on both sides cannot see that fact. If there’s one thing history has taught us, insurgencies cannot be solved with simply enough military power being brought to bear.
It is on the shoulders of the leaders and citizens of both sides to stop the cycle of violence. While Israel’s response to a kidnapping can be argued to be disproportionate, no one party is blameless. Peace will not come out of nothing, and arms must be laid down in order to move in the direction of lasting peace and de-escalation of tensions. Hamas and Fatah are terrorist organizations, firing homemade, makeshift rockets on ballistic trajectories in the direction of Israel. Israel has an air force, drones, and a standing army of over 100,000. Having the stronger military, it falls upon Israel to not use a tragedy as an opportunity to apply pressure on Palestine.
Excuses for violence are openings for peace and cooperation and mutual understanding. Nothing is ever simply cut and dried, no one point of view can be claimed to be more legitimate than the other. Both positions must be considered by the other, or no progress can be made.