Why did Hamas fire missiles at Israel?

I have no relation to the Middle East, but nevertheless I find the conflicts there incredibly important. The State of Israel is abusing and destabilizing the region, and it has far reaching global implications as we all know.

But on to my question. Always when there’s a discussion on Gaza, there’s an elephant in the room.

Why did Hamas shoot missiles into Israel and thus provoke an attack?

I have great difficulties explaining that. Hamas knew how brutal the IDF is, they knew there would be many innocent civilians killed, they knew the missiles would do nearly no damage.

Is there a meaningful strategy behind it, is the human cost justifiable? Are there no alternatives to the bloodbath?

Is it the same strategy that Hezbollah has?

And why does Iran finance Hezbollah etc., why don’t they stay out of it and avoid the peril?

I hope some of you here can explain these things to me, or direct me to some good (preferrably short) material.

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