Whatever decision Abbas and his Fatah lieutenants take, it will be hard to change the new reality that has been created on the ground, especially in the Gaza Strip. As of today, the Palestinians can boast that they have two entities - one in the Gaza Strip run by Muslim fundamentalists and another one in the West Bank under the control of secular Fatah leaders.What this would mean in practice is easy enough to think through. If Fatah is incapable of re-establishing itself in Gaza, Hamas will have free reign to restart their Jihad against Israel, which had been faltering somewhat due to the infighting in Gaza.
"The two-state solution has finally worked," a Palestinian journalist in the Gaza Strip commented sarcastically.
In theory Israel is in a position to take back the Gaza strip they voluntarily gave up in 2005. But that would likely be the surest way to spring the trap that has now been about two years in the making.
Israpundit summarizes the situation in the near Mid-East even without the recent changes in Palestininian territory, in a glum post entitled: The Summer War has begun. That would be the summer war Syria (with Iranian backing) has been preparing for ever since it saw the lacklustre prosecution of the Hezbollah war by Israel late last summer. Israpundit links to a Reuters story that has Irans Little Big Man saying:
With God's help, the countdown button for the destruction of the Zionist regime has been pushed by the hands of the children of Lebanon and PalestineIt seems the pieces are all in place. The smallest twitch of Israel will spring the trap that Iran and Syria have been setting, that we in the West (and in Europe particularly) have allowed them to set. It seems that war, big war this time, has become all but unavoidable.
[UPDATE001] Via Israelity: Charles Levinson, blogging on the Conflict Blotter is reporting from within Gaza.
[UPDATE002] And the EU provides further proof of its uselessness. Two days ago the, in the midst of the heaviest fighting between Hamas and Fatah untill then, the EU out of the blue decided to resume the aid to the Palestinian Authority. So now, barely two days later, the EU is forced to halt the aid yet again. But not without a bit of unsolicited advise from EU-commisioner External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner:
Now is not the time to give up on national unity, both in the government and in the security sector," she said. "I call on both Hamas and Fatah to invest all their energy in this coalition.Only the willfully ignorant and the unforgivably stupid don't understand that *that* particular ship has well and truly sailed, dear Benita.