It appears that the situation in the Palestinian Authority, which has always been volatile, has now erupted into a civil war as Fatah gunmen loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas launched an attack against Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya. While the two sides have signed a deal to end the violence, it’s highly unlikely that such a deal will hold. Hamas and Fatah have been fighting for years, and with Abbas calling for early elections, those clashes are likely to get worse as time goes on.
The Palestinian Authority has been in a state of virtual anarchy for some time now, and this infighting comes as the Israelis have taken efforts which dramatically reduce the ability of the Palestinians to launch attacks against Israel. For so long the Palestinians have created a culture of political violence that their creation now threatens to tear them apart. Hamas murders the children of a Fatah loyalist, so Fatah retaliates and tries to murder the Prime Minister. For all the talk about a cycle of violence in the Middle East, it seems that the Palestinians don’t even need the Israelis to perpetuate cycles of political violence that wrecks anything it touches.
The Palestinian crisis will not be solved until the Palestinians end their obsession with the politics of violence. What is truly heart-wrenching about that society is that there may not be any Palestinians left before that happens.