Gershon Baskin, the co-chairman of the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information, a columnist for The Jerusalem Post, and a back-channel intermediary between Hamas and the Israeli government, has followed up a Haaretz column a few days ago with a piece in this morning's New York Times online opinion page, arguing that Israel is "shortsighted" for not pursuing strong indications that Hamas was ready to sign a long-term ceasefire agreement with Israel.(http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/17/opinion/israels-shortsighted-assassination.html?hp)
The problem, however, is much worse than Israeli "shortsightness." As the record unmistakably shows, as discussed in my International Security article (http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/22373/just_war_moral_philosophy_and_the_200809_israeli_campaign_in_gaza_full_article_available.html), Israel also refused many opportunities to negotiate long-term or even permanent ceasefires with Hamas before its massive attack (Operation Cast Lead) on Gaza in 2008-09, and even deliberately violated existing ceasefire agreements.
Therefore, the appropriate conclusion is that Israel has no interest in a long-term ceasefire, let alone a negotiated political settlement, with Hamas, undoubtedly because it would rather have unending wars than reach an agreement that would leave Hamas in power, and in all likelihood result in a two-state settlement of the overall Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflict.
In short, the Israelis are not "shortsighted," they are mad.