The difference I am told is that one side's (Hamas's) intent is to hurt civilians and the opposing side's (Israel's) intent is to hurt the combatants/terrorists.
Intent matters to some. Intent matters legaly. The UN and courts value intent. Many people are hung up on cause and effect. As if one could divine and comprehend all the causes and effects. As if one could possibly understand or even discover all the intents. As if all these legalities and causes and intents were not based on false constructs. As if the humans who created these modes of behavior and understanding were not filled with foolly by their belief in their own existence.
So I try to focus solely on effects. 2 sides are at war. And anytime you go to war you accept that civilians will die.
However this is not about policy. There are peaceful monks and there are warrior monks. This is about those who cry to "wipe them out." Perhaps the official legal policy 'should be' to wipe them out. But when a specific human cries out for that blood with passion and zeal and rightousness, they may forget that they are also calling out for the death of civilians.
I hope that this thought makes them aware of other thoughts.