Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the leader of Shas, the party of the Sephardic and Mizrachi (eastern) Jews
I am unclear on what is or was going on in Gaza that led to this war.
One theory is that Hamas started a war they could not win out of despair. The overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt meant that Hamas' supply of arms and goods to tax coming in through the Rafah tunnels from Egypt was cut off. ISIS had replaced them as the leading Salafist regime and had begun to establish the caliphate without them. Plus they were broke and becoming unpopular.
According to this theory they were suffering a crisis of relevance and decided that if they were going to go down they would at least go down swinging, that their world would end with a bang not a whimper. We can call this the pundit theory.
The alternate theory is based on the discovery of networks of tunnels into Israel and of intelligence that Hamas planned a huge attack by their guerrillas in fake IDF uniforms, and that the attack was planned for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, in September. According to this theory they were on the verge of a huge victory against Israel. We can call this the tunnel theory.
On this latter theory, which seems better supported by concrete evidence, the last thing Hamas would have wanted would be to in effect invite the IDF to invade by beginning sustained rocket barrages against Israeli civilians. Yet that is what they did.
If we assume the IDF had knowledge of the tunnels but not of their precise locations they would have needed control of both ends of the tunnels in order to prevent the planned attack. They would have needed to invade Gaza.
But how could they have justified such an invasion solely on the basis of intelligence? The American non-existent WMD's fiasco in Iraq would have been clear in their minds. No matter what the intelligence was, it is hard to see how the cabinet could have gone ahead with an invasion seemingly unprovoked. Even if they had been right. found the tunnels, and presented the evidence, the outrage both abroad and in Israel over an unprovoked invasion would have been overwhelming.
On this theory the only thing that could have thwarted the Hamas attack would have been a prolonged rocket barrage from Gaza against Israel followed by an Israeli ground invasion. Which is just what happened.
Again there are two theories. One is that the head of Shas, Ovadia Yosef, is right and that the G_d of Israel has intervened to save the Jews. Another is that the head of Shas, Ovadia Yosef, is right and that the G_d of Israel has intervened to save the Jews by making the Children of Israel clever and resourceful people.
The fact that the only thing that could have saved Israel from a devastating attack and defeat is exactly what happened suggests that Mossad has one or more moles at the highest levels of the Hamas leadership.
Consider too that by now Iron Dome must have been tested extensively and been known to be effective. Which means that, still hypothetically, if one had been contemplating the costs of a Hamas rocket war against Israel, one would have known in advance that the cost in lives on the Israeli side would have been small or nil. And when compared to the cost in lives of not acting, of a mass attack by Hamas guerrillas wearing IDF uniforms within Israel proper, it would have been an easy decision to make. We can call this the Mossad theory
If this theory is correct then the current war is a pre-emptive one in the exact sense of the word, a war launched to prevent, to pre-empt, an attack by the other side.
The flaw in this theory is that it is just speculation and that it assumes facts not in evidence. It assumes that Hamas is rational, that it is unified, and that it is competent. On this theory, the effing moron theory, the Hamas leadership are effing morons and screwed up. As for the Israelis, everyone knows it is better to be lucky than to be smart. Maybe they just got lucky.