For Palestinians, one of their greatest weaknesses has always been the degree to which outside powers have been able to manipulate Palestinian politics and play one faction off against another....
Today, the very reasonable and moderate leaders of the Palestinian Authority are once again exposed to the factionalism and destructive meddling of outside forces. With Hamas ruling Gaza, and a strong opposition to Fatah in the West Bank, it is hard and perhaps impossible for the Palestinian Authority to exercise the core function of a state: to control the use of violence within its frontiers.
To put this another way, it is far from clear that the Palestinian Authority can deliver what Israel wants most out of peace: security. And if Israel can’t be reasonably sure that a peace treaty will bring security, it isn’t going to make big concessions for a peace it may not regard as very valuable.
Walter Russel Mead