Destroying Hamas is the real Israeli goal now. The Junta in Egypt and the Americans want this result as well as do many members of the Arab League though they have to hedge their bets not only on the outcome but with their own peoples.
Moreover this latest outbreak of hot war is in reality continuation of a long war whose episodes go back not only to 1948 but to 1917. And it is not an end in itself. The Israelis are also preparing their military, their people, and the world, for a much greater and far more destructive war with Iran, Syria, and Lebanon. Furthermore, thinking back just a bit, the Israelis and their lobby in Washington (as well as in London and Paris) pushed hard for the invasion of Iraq and played a great role in manipulating, if not helping instigate, 9/11.
As for Hamas, the Israelis began an escalated effort to arrest or kill key Hamas persons after they were elected in 2006, which was just a few years after the assassination of the Hamas founder and other leaders. Then the Israelis, always with considerable American help, instigated a coup against Hamas which backfired and resulted in the complete Hamas takeover of Gaza and then the greater Israeli siege of Gaza. Ever since the Israelis have attempted to discredit Hamas by killing and maiming civilians, bombing homes, and destroying the Gaza economy and already awful living conditions — expecting to turn the population against the leaders. But instead the Palestinian people have become more and more aware that the “Palestinian Authority” regime is the collaborator and the Hamas movement refuses to become co-opted albeit at great, tragic, horrible cost.
Having failed with the policies so far, and with the regional situation now charged to their advantage (especially Egypt), the Israelis appear intent this time, if they feel they can get away with it, to attempt to destroy Hamas as a political as well as military organization, assassinating as many of the key leaders as they can.