The Israeli fighter jets over Gaza are not just inducing sonic booms; they're inducing nose-bleeds, panic attacks and miscarriages in the civil population (The Age, 6/7/2006). The logic is supposedly that heavily-pregnant women and young children will rise up and force Palestinian terrorists to stop firing missiles at Israel. That serious Israeli security chiefs would advance such a notion is so fanciful that we can safely dismiss it.
No, far more likely - and sinister - is that this program of collective punishment is designed to pressure the terrorists into giving up out of guilt at what's happening to their fellow Muslims. A strategy based on an appeal to the consciences of psychopathic criminals is designed to show up the complicity of Palestinian civilians - and hence the validity of their continuing punishment.
Israeli politicians must make clear that Israel distinguishes between Palestinian civilians and terrorists; lumping them in together will simply make Israel's defence forces the chief recruiter for Hamas.