"An Israeli military official said a total of 64 Hamas officials were arrested in the early morning roundup. Of those, Palestinian officials said seven are ministers in Hamas’ 23-member Cabinet and 20 others are lawmakers in the 72-seat parliament." Gutkin in Yahoo News
If we really believe that Israel/Olmert has moved to destroy the elected Palestinian government and re-occupy Gaza over one captured soldier, then we are truly gullible.
Hamas "sin" here is that it would not accept the very concept of a permanent treaty of peace with Israel. As I keep saying, that course of action is not really a possibility for them.
I quote below in whole my post of 20 March, 2006 on this subject.
"Peace? What Peace?
Ambassador Dennis Ross, the architect of Camp David Two and the chief diplomat of the United States in the Peace Process, pronounced himself the other day to be of the opinion that if the new Hamas government of the PA does not not change itself to accept Israel’s existence, then it will have to be destroyed.
There is a certain logic in this. Ross made an effort to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians and it came to less than naught. He is understandably distraught at the failure of his hopes. As a follow up to that failure he became an executive of an organization that seeks to advance the interests of Jewish people in what I think of as the Holy Land. He said that the reason he did so was that he is Jewish.
Now, the PA will form a government drawn in its membership from its own leadership, none of whom have accepted Israel’s existence. Nor are they likely to do so in the future. The Hamasniks justify their actions to themselves and everyone else on the basis of their identity as Muslims.
To put the issue simply, it is war "to the knife" between these two peoples.
"After other Palestinian factions refused to join a coalition, the victorious Islamist group nominated a Cabinet whose senior members have all been jailed, deported and escaped Israeli assassination. Chief among Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haniya’s 24 ministers are Dr Mahmoud al-Zahar, a hardliner, as Foreign Minister, and Said Siyam as Interior Minister. Most others are Hamas, with some pro-Islamist independents and technocrats, one woman and one Christian.
President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to approve them but may try to delay the decision until after the Israeli general election on March 28. However, Shaul Mofaz, Israel’s Defence Minister, said that if President Abbas accepted the line-up he would “officially turn the Palestinian Authority into a terror entity”. Hamas faces a cash crisis, as EU foreign ministers met in Brussels yesterday to consider how to continue providing aid to Palestinians without endorsing what is regarded as a terrorist organisation by the EU and US. " London Times
I will repeat my earlier estimate. After the Israeli election, a campaign to eliminate the Hamas/PA leadership will accelerate and if that does not succeed in eliminating the Hamas government, then Israel will begin to re-occupy the territories.