Where are the Palestinians Heading?

Palestinian leaders preparing for a joint meeting with their Israeli counterparts and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in a bid to move the stalled peace process forward, are having trouble keeping their own internal struggles in check as the situation in the territories spins rapidly out of control. If the Palestinians cannot present a united front ahead of the meeting set to take place within the next several weeks, they risk further delays in the of the hoped-for establishment of a Palestinian state and continued ills for their troubled population.

Dozens of people have been killed and more than 150 have been wounded in fighting in the last several weeks -- not at the hands of Israeli soldiers but in violence amongst Palestinians themselves.

Dissention within the ranks of supporters of Hamas has swelled, while disapproval of Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas is on the upswing.

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