Mr. Netanyahu’s calculations are numerous. He has an election looming in January,[JEG's:Yes sending troops into Gaza is risky, Israel won't have where to place the elections polls]
and agreeing to stop his operation in Gaza could be risky if rocket fire resumed. But sending troops into Gaza poses perhaps even more risks.
“The Israeli government will face its voters without any tangible achievement in hand to show,” Nahum Barnea, a columnist for the newspaper Yediot Aharonot, wrote Tuesday. He said that he did not believe Mr. Netanyahu had begun this operation with electoral considerations in mind, but that “the deliberations about ending it are deeply affected by political calculations.”
Mr. Netanyahu is also contending with a radically altered Middle East, and while he says that protecting his people is not dependent on who is in power in Egypt or Turkey, a reduced military operation and fewer civilian casualties in Gaza would make relations with both countries less difficult.