I have been following the internecine fighting in Gaza quite carefully over the last several days. I have found the media coverage from the Israeli news outlets to be dramatically different than that of the international media. The Israeli papers have made the situation clear that Hamas is following a systematic plan of conquest in Gaza and that furthermore, they may be unstoppable now.
The international press has been rather vague and has merely described this as another round of fighting and has not relayed the severity of the situation. However, I did stumble upon one article that I simply found fascinating. It can be read here, but I pulled out some selections.
By daybreak, Fatah's threat to divorce itself from the Hamas-led coalition government of Haniyeh raised the tension in the Palestinian territories one more notch, bringing the Palestinians ever so much closer to the brink of civil war. Following an emergency meeting of its executive committee, Fatah announced it was suspending participation in the government as long as the fighting continued. (emphasis mine)Something about "closer to the brink," caught my eye. This is not a well written phrase. It would be easier just to write "closer to civil war," or "on the brink of civil war." I don't think the author is a bad writer. This is an example, rather, of the way the author thinks about the conflict. Please don't take my word for it, later in the piece he quotes someone who explains it much better than I can.
But one European observer denies that Gaza is headed towards a civil war. "They are not 'heading' towards a civil war. They are in the middle of one," says Claude Moniquet, president of the Brussels-based European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center. Moniquet says the Palestinians have been in the midst of a civil war "for several weeks, if not months."
The Belgian counter-terrorism specialist says that European "political correctness, whereby one would like to present the Palestinians as eternal victims and never, in any case, as the actors (and the persons with primary responsibility) for their own failures," is what has prevented the violence tearing apart the Palestinian territories from being labeled a civil war.