According to the BBC and CNN, recent fighting in Palestine may lead to the collapse of the current government which is based on a collaboration between Hamas (the elected party) and Fatah (the more palatable party –to Westerners at least).

As you will recall, Hamas, a US Department of State ‘Known Terrorist’ group, soundly defeated the more moderate Fatah party in the nation’s last election. However international aid to the tiny, fractured country dwindled to nearly nothing after the election leading the two parties to form an uneasy coalition government headed by Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas has soundly chastised both sides for the break in this fourth cease-fire agreement between the warring factions saying, “”Everyone who carries weapons, who shoots and attacks is responsible. Everyone must stop it.”

More than 70 deaths and well over 180 injuries are the result of the current round of hostilities, as well as Hamas seizing control of nearly the entire Gaza Strip. Hamas has now consolidated control in the southern city of Rafah, on the Egyptian border which tends to lend credibility to US and Israeli claims that Iran has been using the Gaza – Egypt border zone as a weapons smuggling route to re-supply Hamas.

A fractured Palestine is likely to result in Hamas control of the Gaza strip and Fatah control of the West Bank region.

There are now conflicting reports of yet another cease-fire agreement in the works, and Abbas has pledged to remain in the process, quelling rumors of his possible walk out.

Don’t think that the in-fighting has brought a respite to Israel, however. Despite their busy schedules, Hamas managed to find the time to launch ineffective rocket attacks against Israel, hitting a primary school but causing no injuries.

And we thought gang violence was bad in the US.

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