Israel says its punishing air assault on Hamas militants, their property and their weaponry has delivered a devastating blow to the Islamic militant group. Yet rocket fire at Israel has continued almost unabated.

The military says that due to years of generous Iranian shipments, thousands of rockets remain in Gaza, and there is no quick way to eliminate the threat.

It says its goal is to inflict so much pain on Hamas that it will be deterred from attacking Israel again — just like Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon have largely remained on the sidelines for the past eight years. […]