The level of violence has been steadily rising since the announcement of the Palestinian Authority plan to circumvent negotiations with Israel by petitioning the United Nations to grant statehood. The violence took another step upwards when it became unavoidably obvious that there was no possibility for unifying Hamas and Fatah forging a united Palestinian Authority. Despite the evidence that the reason behind the failure of the efforts to meld the two factions into a unified effort against Israel stemmed from each side’s intransience on every single assigning of people to positions of leadership with the position of Prime Minister being the most public of the quarrels, both sides blamed Israel in addition to the other partner’s inability to show the necessary flexibility or willingness to share the power. The negotiations between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, which is mostly controlled by Fatah, included Egypt as a presumed neutral mediator with Israel having no control or influence on the entire affair other than a public statement that posed the claim that including Hamas into the structures of the Palestinian authority would simply add to the difficulties in reaching any negotiated peace as Hamas has insisted that the only solution to the Palestinian desire for a homeland exists on the destruction and replacement of Israel with an Arab state under Sharia. Now we are coming face to face with the Palestinian realization that their dream of gaining statehood via United Nations recognition is not feasible and will fall short of the nine votes in the Security Council which they blame upon Israel with an assist by the United States and threaten to have the area descend into “violence and anarchy.”
As if the above was not enough of a foreboding of dark and violent times coming ever closer and closer, there is soon to be the release of the transcripts of the French Medical Reports covering the reasons and conditions behind Yasser Arafat’s death. According to Naser al-Qudwa, Yasser Arafat’s nephew, as he told the Palestinian Authority's semi-official Maan News Agency, the document is being translated from French into Arabic before being released. Pointing out that the report by French doctors reportedly describes a platelet disorder and speculates on its cause, and while ruling out cancer or acute infection, the report never does state what had caused this factor. Al-Qudwa uses this point to make the same baseless claim that, “We have said that it is poisoning,” insinuating, as he has since his uncle's death, that Arafat was killed by the Israeli Mossad. When pushed on this claim, he admits that the French were unable to find any poison in Yasser Arafat’s system either. One has to suspect that the release of this information at this juncture by Arafat’s nephew Naser al-Qudwa is being done in coordination with those who wish to take a very unstable and potentially dangerous set of circumstances and push things well beyond any point of tolerance setting the whole area on fire. There have been such forces pushing for a third intifada for close to six months and this may just be their perfect storm into which just that little additional agitation will cause the eruption they have sought.
I have no idea exactly what anybody can hope to gain by pushing things beyond the cusp of sanity and reason into complete chaos and crisis unless they believe that through instigating such, they will be able to gain control over the Palestinian areas and possibly direct the defeat of the Israelis and turn the intifada they will have caused into some organized effort that will win the war for all the lands from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Such an outcome is not possible with just the use of those forces that could be marshaled from solely the Palestinians and would require the complete and overt support from numerous outside groups. The only forces that could currently coordinate and gather such a force are the Iranians. Iran could marshal Hezballah, Hamas, Syria, and possibly Egypt plus whatever ancillary support that could be supplied through ballistic missiles fired from both Syria and Iran. The Israelis very likely have a fairly accurate assessment of the number of such armaments are possessed by Hezballah and also have information on Syria, though that information may be less accurate. The wild card is that nobody probably knows for sure what is possessed by Iran. If Iran could also somehow convince Turkey to cooperate and join such an action, things could become very dicey very quickly and then there is always the possibility that Iran is years further along in their weapon development and actually possess a number of nuclear warheads mounted on ballistic missiles just waiting for the right opportunity to surprise an unsuspecting world. That is the disconcerting predicament of these times in the Middle East, so many claim they know exactly who has what and how many when, in reality, nobody is truly sure of anything except that they are making their best assessment, their best guess. The immediate future once again appears to be one more time where it may be most prudent to say nothing and expect anything while praying for nothing. For me, nothing would be a welcome change.