Voting results have come out in the most recent Palestinian elections, giving Hamas a commanding majority in the Palestinian parliament. In other words, a terrorist organization that has not even had the decency to pretend for the audience that it had mellowed (as did Fatah) is now in effective control of a semi-autonomous region containing over 2.5 million people.
It is true that a not-insignificant component of their victory was out of popular disgust with Fatah, which was notoriously corrupt and unable to provide basic services and security for the PA. But Palestinians could have voted for the independent party of a former PA finance minister who also happened to be a World Bank official (can't find the name at the moment). That they voted for Hamas instead cannot be ignored.
Some are looking for a silver lining, saying that a Hamas in power must inevitably moderate itself as it focuses more on good governance. Perhaps; if so, I certainly will not mind much. But there is absolutely no reason to assume that will happen; Hamas's much-touted schools and hospitals are nothing more than recruiting centers for the Jihad, and everything they do is geared towards that goal. Will they do otherwise with the resources of the PA? Doubtful.
Should the Palestinians continue their war, Israel cannot hesitiate. The Palestinian populace has publicly thrown its support behind a program of anihilation, and they should face the consequences should that program be carried out.