Israeli sources claim Hamas and Fatah are nearing a new civil war. After winning a stunning election in 2006, Hamas ousted Fatah from Gaza in a violent 2007 coup. Hamas may now attempt to oust Fatah in the West Bank after President Mahmoud Abbas’ term expires in January 2009.
Israeli-Palestinian peace appears increasingly less likely, now that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are at odds. There is not one leader who can speak for the Palestinians.
Jonathan Schanzer’s forthcoming book, Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine, asserts that the Palestinian civil war may have eclipsed the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as the most important conflict in the region. Indeed, Palestinian infighting makes peace talks impossible, and complicates U.S. efforts for stability.