Israeli troops remain poised on the borders of the Gaza strip. Israel has arrested over 60 members of Hamas, including several ministers and members of the Palestinian Parliament. It remains uncertain how much farther the Israeli response will go; apparently there are negotiations of a sort going on between the Hamas leadership in Damascus, Khalid Mashaal, and the Israeli government, through the offices of the Egyptian government. The short-term, best case scenario is that Gilad Shalit is released and the Israelis release a number of Palestinian prisoners in return. However, in the long term this will just "kick the can" down the road.
Caroline Glick believes that Israeli Prime Minister Olmert still refuses to get it:
Olmert and his associates in the government have pointed their fingers at Hamas blaming it for the Palestinian guerilla attack on Israeli territory Sunday morning while ignoring Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah terror group's equal share of culpability. It was Fatah, not Hamas that kidnapped and murdered 18 year old Eliyahu Asheri. It is Fatah that is threatening to blow up Israeli embassies abroad. It is Fatah that is threatening to renew shooting attacks on Jerusalem and attack Israel with chemical and biological weapons. It is Fatah that is threatening to kill the IDF hostage Cpl. Gilad Shalit.
While Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin was preparing the list of Hamas leaders IDF forces arrested in Judea and Samaria Wednesday night, Abbas was finalizing his deal with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh for the formation of a Hamas-Fatah unity government. Abbas and Haniyeh not only agreed to form a unity government, they also agreed that Hamas would become a member of the PLO. Aside from that, they agreed that to establish a unified force for fighting their joint war against Israel. That is, this week, as Israel trained its rifles on Hamas alone, Abbas effectively unified Hamas with Fatah.