Monday, June 1, 2009

Palestinian Vs Palestinian Violence Leaves 6 Dead

While there have been attacks on Palestinians by Israelis who have settled in the West Bank, more serious clashes have been taking place between Palestinians themselves.

Fighting between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, also on the West Bank, has left six people dead. No fatalities were reported in the confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians where rocks, not bullets, were used in the attacks.

The inability of the two political Palestinian factions to co-exist raises the issue of who the Israelis can negotiate with in peace talks. Even if, for example, agreement is reached between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority, that would only affect the West Bank, which the PA controls. Hamas, which is more militant and refuses to recognize the right of the state of Israel to exist, controls the Gaza.

The weekend clashes also serve to test the Palestinian Authority's ability to control the West Bank. Should the PA lose control of the West Bank as well, any hopes, however slim they may already be, of peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, will surely be dashed.

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