The caption for the photo at the left reads:
"A Palestinian militant from the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades struggles with a colleague as they try to prevent him from fighting with Hamas supporters during the funeral of security force officer Osama Nassar in Deir Al Balah, central Gaza Strip, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007. Nassar, a member of the security forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, was killed during clashes with Hamas militants in Khan Younis Thursday, Palestinian sources said. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)."
Thus the civil war between the Palestinian terrorist groups, Fatah and Hamas, continues and escalates. Today, a Muslim cleric who had publicly criticized Hamas was murdered by Hamas gunmen when he left his mosque after Friday worship. (So much for respect for Islam.) "The slaying came as thousands of mourners marched through Gaza City carrying the bodies of seven Fatah men killed in a standoff with Hamas."
Keep in mind that these people are all Sunni Muslims. Their main political difference is disagreement over the best strategy for the destruction of Israel. As pointed out by The Hedgehog Blog previously, the true causus belli is rivalry between two criminal gangs--Fatah and Hamas--for control of the rackets in the Palestinian thugocracy.
Of course, if Hamas is willing to murder a Muslim cleric who criticizes them, you can imagine how much freedom of speech the rest of us would have in the world-wide Islamic Caliphate envisioned by Hamas and Al Qaeda.
One realizes that the real policy failure of Israel and the Clinton Administration in entering into the Oslo Accords (which created the Palestinian Authority in Gaza, Yehuda and Shomron), and of the Bush Administration in launching the war in Iraq, was to underestimate the toxic pathology of much of modern Arab culture. It is so rife with clan rivalries, misogyny, general hatred, and primitive resort to violence that perhaps only repressive force, such as is employed now in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and was formerly employed in Iraq by Saddam Hussein, can preserve a functioning society. That is hardly an optimistic or a politically correct viewpoint, but its accuracy and implications need to be considered.