What to say.
It is sad to see the bloody minded extremists drive the situation, but it is also typical. Look at Northern Ireland.
Now, as others have noted, PA is not Hamas --indeed for a long time Hamas and PA were at each others throats. It is the feeling of many observers --and I share this-- that events have driven the two to tolerate each other, they are not natural allies as the Taleban and al-Qaida ( there is not goddamned motherfucking u in there goddammit). They are fundamentally ideologically opposed.
PA includes Xtians Arabs, who have no love for Hamas – other than a shared hatred of the occupation.
The PA also includes secularists --Arafat is one, his wife is an Xtian and he himself was long said to be… not the most pious of folks-- who have no love and indeed fear Hamas.
The PA, however, does share with Hamas a feeling that Israel is screwing them (the Ps), expanding settlements while talking peace.
To answer the question if Rabin had not been killed, might it have turned out better? I think so. It could have. It is hard to describe the degree to which (I depend on here on personal impressions, as well as the general reading, derived from convos in Arabic with Ps over the past decade) the Netanyahu years poisoned the well. This is not to deny that Barak made a yoeman but flawed effort to rescue things, but the two faced policy of N boy had a very negative effect, as has general settlement policy in the WB and Gaza.
There are of course no guarantees, but in many ways perhaps the peace process was the walking dead post Rabin, who was a great man IMO. A truly great man.
Now, Israel’s policy going forward. Well, given Sharon’s history (Lebanon) and Arafat’s general stupidity, we can expect blood and more blood. Sharon will puruse a senseless policy of trying to destroy the PA and pick P leadership for a protectorate. We’ll see an Algerian 1952-1962 situation evolve no end of blood in the street.
However, an ideal world would have Sharon stop attacking the PA and cut a deal. Full withdrawal, Statehood and all the trappings for a full crack-down on Hamas. There would need to be guarantees, including an international interposition force. A major issue is neither side has much trust right now, and both have substantive reasons for the mistrust.