The killings continue, but there might be a new hope on the horizon for embattled Palestinians holed-up in the West Bank region.
Recent hostilities between factions of the Palestinian coalition government has led to the collapse of that government and ended with Hamas fighters in control of the Gaza Strip and the Fatah faction holding sway over the West Bank region.
Mahmoud Abbas, elected president of the Palestinian Authority government, formally dissolved the government on Monday. In its place was created a new â€œThird Wayâ€ regime led by President Salam Fayyad.
Fayyad, who holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, is well-respected by the Israeli establishment and holds close ties with the US â€“he worked on the staff of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, as well and the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
If political realities allow, it is expected that Fayyad will work closely with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to forge a lasting peace between the two nations. Fayyad was previously offered the Presidential position but would only accept if a stout list of conditions were met, including that all Palestinians acknowledge Israelâ€™s right to exist. Hamas declined, and Fayyad instead took the post of Finance Minister.
In a statement reported by the AP, Livni said Israel would support the Palestinian Authorityâ€™s legitimacy. Israel will also provide aid and release back taxes collected on behalf of Palestine if the new government will agree to support Israelâ€™s right to exist.
The EU, meanwhile, is busy getting its collective panties in a wad trying to figure out how to help Palestinians trapped in the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip.
This observer wonders what would happen if the world simply fawned over and funded the moderate West Bank government to the total exclusion of Gaza. Eventually the people of Gaza would either leave or overthrow Hamas. A known terror group, Hamas will co-opt any aid that comes near them, and find a way to use it against their enemies de jure.
And whatever happened to Islam being a religion of peace?