Hamas launched the rockets unprovoked. They are the ones who started this. It is an act of war and by definition illegal. Israel was responding by this act of war. Under article 51 of the UN Charter (which is merely confirmation of what customary international law had held for centuries), Israel has the right to defend itself and to protect its citizens and soveriegnty. Thus, their response is completely legal. THAT is the distinction.You misunderstood my point. You argue it is perfectly legal for Israel to bomb Gaza yet you think it is illegal for Hamas to lob rockets at Israel. The only real difference between the two seems to be the method of deployment and I cannot seriously regard that as the crux of legality I'm afraid.
WIthin the law of war, yes. Nothing Israel has done is against the law of war.So as long as you do not start the aggression everything you do in response is 'legal'?
This skirmish was started by Hamas and the Gazans with the weeks of rockets being launched into southern Israel. That is pretty clear.I doubt you could ever really establish who started the war. The bombing was not my point, the effective laying of thousands of land mines in heavily populated civilian areas is what I would regard as illegal.