The Palestinian Arabs regularly accuse Israel of intentionally targeting their civilian population in a cruel attempt to ethnically cleanse all non-Jews from the region.
That accusation, especially during times of escalating violence, is more often than not echoed by the international community.
Israel, meanwhile, maintains that it has no desire to harm Palestinian civilians, but finds itself forced to put them in harms way because Palestinian terrorists insist on violating international law by operating out of civilian population centers and disguising themselves as civilians.
Case in point: During the heavy weekend fighting in and around the Gaza Strip, Israeli aerial surveillance spotted a donkey-drawn cart transporting a concealed Katyusha missile through an agricultural grove outside Gaza city.
Had Israeli forces attacked the cart and killed its driver, they certainly would have been accused by both the Arabs and the world of murdering a "Palestinian civilian," a simple farmer at work in his fields.
However, the fact that farmer was transporting a missile to be used in an attack against Israeli civilians made him a legitimate military target, under international law.
In light of this and many similar incidents, not to mention the terrorists' cynical use of the civilian population as a shield, top Israelis ministers have asked the Justice Ministry and Israel's attorney general to prepare a legal defense for Israel's right to return fire direct and heavy fire on the Palestinian civilian areas used to launch thousands of rocket attacks on southern Israel over the past few years.