Israeli blogger Gloria Salt considers what Sharon's strategy is.
Simple military strategy. Clear your own soft targets out of the way and then do what’s necessary.
Sounds about right to me.
Sharon strikes me as more of a soldier and less of a politician. That said, there are some points of reasoned discussion (what little there is in this whole matter) that bear examination. By removing the settlers, Sharon has not only removed physical cover for the enemy operating out of Gaza, but also a good deal of rhetorical cover. Should the intifada continue unabated despite this huge concession, then the pretense of negotiation goes out the window. In return for such a prize, an honorable opponent that desires peace would be bound to take some steps in reciprocation. From here, the Palestinians (Hammas included) must now either put up or shut up with any overtures that they want anything less than Palestine from the river to the sea. That goes as well with those who side with the Palestinians and see Israel as the terrorist state.
Please, note, that I shall not be holding my breath in the meantime.