As might be expected, the article argues that the killing meant that Israel was unwilling to take the chance that the oh-so-promising "ceasefire" efforts would come to fruition. Even they can't deny the following:
[J]ust prior to the attack on Gaza, Hamas’s spiritual leader, Ahmad Yassin, had made some sort of offer to end suicide bombings, though it is not clear what he wanted in return, or what he meant precisely by this. He seemed to have demanded Israel's withdrawal from the recently reoccupied Palestinian cities, release of recently detained Palestinian prisoners and an end to the assassination of Palestinian leaders, in return for a halt to bombings inside Israel proper. He made this offer after prodding from the PA and Saudi Arabian and European diplomats. No Israeli government would have been able to agree to such a deal, which would have left soldiers and civilians in the occupied territories targets for attack.
Notwithstanding that accurate conclusion, the article concludes that mysterious "others"
argue that Mr Sharon’s government should have deferred Mr Shehada's assassination to test an initiative that may not have brought a total end to violence but might at least have prevented the continued slaughter of innocents—whether these are travelling in buses in West Jerusalem or sleeping in their beds in Gaza City.
So the proposed ceasefire, which would have left all Israeli targets inside the West Bank and Gaza as fair game, would have prevented "the continued slaughter of innocents." Killings of Israeli settlers would thus not qualify as "slaughter of innocents." Ergo, Israeli settlers, regardless of whether or not they are peaceful civilians, are not innocent and are deserving targets of murder.