Another example of US and Israel policies working like clockwork.
The lawlessness that led the moderate Fatah faction to lose control of Gaza is repeating itself in the West Bank, a senior Palestinian official has claimed.
Unless something is done to neutralise unofficial armed militias, part of the region could fall to Hamas, the hardline Islamic faction, dooming any chance of an independent state in the near future.
Once again, Israel only has itself to blame. Not only has its brutality been self-defeating, but its backing of the illegitimate pawn has only created further contempt among the Palestinian population.
The lawlessness is blamed in part on Israel’s tight control of places like Nablus. Aggrieved Palestinians form their own anti-Israeli resistance militias that quickly evolve into criminal gangs.
Israel has promised to shore up Mr Abbas’s authority by showing the Palestinian people he can deliver improvements to their everyday lives. But for the 130,000 Palestinians in Nablus, such promises ring hollow.
Behaviour like this is hardly winning hearts and minds, either.