Olmert the harbinger of peace?:
The Israeli response was also, on one level, driven by public opinion. Hamas’ ability to attack Israeli positions with rockets, or potentially to launch another round of suicide bombings in Israeli population centers, was quite real. If it happened, Israeli public opinion not only would create a crisis for any Israeli government, but also would strengthen those forces that felt that any peace process with the Palestinians was impossible. Ehud Olmert, still prime minister pending a new government, saw the Hamas move as an opportunity. Hamas created a situation that had to be dealt with. Waiting for his successor to deal with the problem would bog that successor down in an issue with the international community that would cripple any ongoing diplomacy. Launching a security campaign as a lame-duck prime minister takes the issue off his successor’s plate. In an odd way, this increases the chance of some sort of settlement with the Palestinians, by allowing Olmert to be cast as a villain.