In a piece for Hudson New York (affiliated with the Hudson Institute think tank), Jerusalem Post writer (and Israeli-Arab) Khaled Abu Toameh takes a close look at the various factions struggling for control of the "unified" Palestinian government:
As the world focuses its attention on the Palestinian Authority's plan to ask the United Nations in September to recognize a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines, the Palestinian political scene is in disarray as a result of power struggles, personal and political rivalries and divisions.
Everyone seems to be against everyone in the Palestinian territories. Fatah against Fatah, Fatah against Hamas, Hamas in Gaza against Hamas in Syria, Mahmoud Abbas versus Mohammed Dahlan and many other senior Fatah figures, Hamas and some in Fatah against Salam Fayyad, Islamic Jihad versus everyone and everyone versus the Syrian-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command.
Ironically, it is their shared hostility toward Israel that keeps the rivalries and internecine fighting from erupting into a full-fledged civil war.
The ongoing power struggles and disputes in the Palestinian arena raise serious questions as to whether the Palestinians are ready for statehood.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is spearheading the effort to acquire a Palestinian state through the UN, and not at the negotiating table with Israel, is facing increased opposition from within the Palestinian Authority and his ruling Fatah faction.
The main charge against Abbas is that he and a handful of his top aides are making crucial and historic decisions without consulting others.
At least five senior Palestinian Authority and Fatah officials have come out against Abbas's statehood bid.
But there is no doubt that the biggest challenge to Abbas these days is coming not from Hamas, but from his own Fatah faction.