Yaacov Lozowick tries to answer the question:

What's the end game? It could be weeks of sifting through the city of Gaza until Hamas has effectively been disarmed. I expect, however, that it's more likely that Israel itself will now speed up the diplomatic process, starting with the visit this evening of Sarkozy: You want a cease fire, all you folks out there? You want to avert weeks of slow house-by-house searches as the populace suffers? So do we. So let's all agree on the mechanisms that will ensure that Hamas never regains its military capacities, and you, the international community, will help ensure the mechanisms stay in place; once that's been arranged we'll leave Gaza and hope never to return again. Sometime in the next 12 months elections need to take place, and perhaps the Palestinian voters will choose peace over strife this time. Ironically, all this violence is making it likely the next Israeli government will be eager to cooperate with the Obama administration on seeking ways towards a just peace.

A mite over-optimistic, if you ask me. But who can say?

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