Essential questions for the Palestinian Authority

In the wake of the forced evacuation of Israeli settlers from Gaza, the Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy asks the essential questions:

When push comes to shove will the Palestinian Authority confront its fundamentalists in the same way that Israel confronted the religious zealots in the settlements? When the greater good of Palestinians is at stake, is the Palestinian Authority willing to curb the activities of Hamas, the militant Islamic organization?

And not just Hamas but Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa brigade of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement, among others.

I’ve raised similar questions here before, and certain commenters are always pleased to explain why the PA can’t act yet. I hope Israel’s Gaza withdrawal has eliminated one more excuse.

A serious and sustained crackdown on the armed Palestinian movements would immensely strengthen Israelis who want a fair two-state agreement with the Palestinians, and weaken those who don’t.