Madness has seemingly descended upon the thin sliver of land bequeathed to the Palestinian people; that is little more than a ghetto for the 1.4 million or so residents.
The conditions in the Gaza Strip are bad enough; it is little more than a glorified refugee camp with poor infrastructure and high levels of child mortality and other far-reaching health implications. The last thing it needs is a senseless and brutal conflict between Palestine’s two political forces, which will frankly have massive consequences across the region.
After a terse and tense 3-month joint government between Fatah and Hamas, the status quo has collapsed into a bloodbath, with some 100 people dead already. The result is that once again Palestinian politics takes a step backwards, backwards to guns, violence and the creeping infringement of a fundamentalist Islamic government, close to the borders of Israel.
I have mixed feelings on the matter, on one hand I have respect for Hamas as a genuine political organisation that has the backing of large swathes of the Palestinian population; backing that stems in a frustration with the more gentle and therefore negated approach of Fatah (once again we are seeing a militarisation of the Islamic faith, caused by desperation with political isolation). On the other, I see behaviours and actions that will feed a Zionist and US response that will further damage the claims of the Palestinian people to a land of their own. They are playing directly into the hands of those that wish them the greatest harm.
I can only hope that in the aftermath, Palestinian diplomats come to the fore rather than the war mongers, who still believe the gun and the bomb will break their repression rather than engaging with the world politick to highlight and solve their woes.
Peace be with you all this weekend.