The recent incidents mark a serious escalation in inter-Palestinian factional clashes and are much the worst to have occurred since Hamas won the parliamentary election in January. The Palestinian government is incapable of supporting its people and public services and living standards are declining at an alarming rate. Israel maintains its occupation of the West Bank and control over the Gaza Strip which it regularly invades, causing destruction and loss of life.
The international community refuses to deal with the Hamas government of the Palestinian Authority and has reduced its budgetary support and humanitarian aid. There is no prospect of a return to negotiations with Israel and the vision of an independent and viable Palestinian state seems ever more distant.