the timing of this supports the "last chance to attack gaza before a potentially less sympathetic president" theory. if we're lucky, the whole tragic mess of an offensive will be over by early next week. i'm guessing ultimately there will be some kind of formalized ceasefire, with international monitoring and some easing of the embargo on gaza.
of course, there will be the lingering questions of what was actually accomplished by all that death and destruction. hamas offered a ceasefire in exchange for the lifting of the embargo in december. i guess the international monitoring counts for something, but otherwise the ultimate agreement here will probably end up looking a lot like what israel could have gotten last month without killing anybody. i guess labor-kadima got to look tough before next month's election. but it would also give an opening to bibi to argue that olmert blew it by stopping the offensive before hamas was completely destroyed.