While I was musing about the money crunch being the factor for Hamas to attack, it seems reality is even stranger.
With people in Ramallah screaming for Osama bint Laden to attack Denmark and angry notes posted on EU offices in Gaza, the actual tipping point will probably be some cartoons that were published in Denmark last year depicting the prophet Muhhamad.
If this is true, it will nicely neutralize any ambivelence from Fatah and the 'average' Palestinian who takes their faith seriously. To demur would be to invoke the wrath of the faithful against the heretic. It would be the perfect bloody flag to wave to enrage the citizenry while deftly avoiding any deep thought on how the situation arose. It would ignore the reason why the cartoons were created in the first place, in reaction to no one wanting to draw pictures of the prophet for a book on his life for fear of death. So it has become self-fulfilling prophecy, by violently protesting cartoons that depict the violence engendered by pictures of the prophet they prove how irrational they are. I do not see Jews, who hold there should be no depictions of the Almighty, attacking Christians for their depictions of the Almighty; nor do I see various Western or Eastern branches of Christianity attacking each other over pictures of the Christ [ saints and Mary are another matter ^_^].
I have to wonder, in future years as humanity looks back at this turbulent time, if the historians of the future will shake their heads in disbelief over the Cartoon War just as some historians of the modern day are befuddled by what led to the War of the Roses.