Some elite HAMAS unit got the tar beaten out of them. There are a lot of people who believe a there is no military solution to the Gaza conflict. While I think it will not the the whole solution, one only has to look to Iraq as an example.
I notice that the IDF is taking page from Gen. Petraus’s COIN manual. Mainly, the IDF is doing all it can to protect civilians to provide a contrast to the HAMAS fighters who use civilians as human shields and rig their buildings with explosives.
That’s probably why Olmert apologized to the UN after hitting their compound in Gaza. Even if they were justified in doing so, Gazans are largely dependent on the UNRWA for their survival.
If the IDF are following COIN, hopefully they know it will need to get the job done and not follow any electoral timetable.
Subduing a highly indoctrinated society will be tough and costly, but it has been done before.