Left: Masked gunmen atop the EU's Gaza City offices; photo courtesy of Washington Post
(Gaza City, Palestine) Masked gunmen descended upon the European Union's office Thursday in Gaza City, and forced the building to close. They were responding to political cartoons that depicted the prophet Mohammad in an offensive light.
Members of the groups Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades fired semiautomatic weaponry into the air. The latter group is the armed faction of Palestinian political party Fatah.
While some may see this as a ploy by Fatah to regain the ideological high ground, the debate over the images has raged for several months. One of the cartoons shows Mohammad with a turban that doubles as a bomb with a lit fuse.
Muslims consider any depiction of Mohammad or Allah as sacriligeous.
What the event most clearly shows is the near-chaos into which Palestine has descended. One might even conjecture that officials sympathetic to Fatah might allow such actions to continue as a way to bring Hamas into disfavor.
I suspect that the situation in Palestine will only continue to worsen, and that it will only be a matter of time before the Israeli tanks roll through the streets of Gaza City again.
And that, my friends, will be a dark day in the region.