A few weeks ago I wrote here that after covering all the tabloid stories in London, I was looking forward to getting back to Gaza. Forget it, not anymore.
And here's why: It's got too dangerous. Nobody is filming the daily fighting between Hamas and Fatah militias, as well as all the other family and revenge-driven shootings among Palestinians in Gaza because the gunmen threaten to kill the cameramen and other journalists.
And this raises a question about the limits of television news. If there are no pictures of the fighting, do we report the story?
The first question of the television news editors is usually: "What are the pictures like?" If we answer, "Well, there are 25 dead but we don't have any pictures," then the response will often be, "OK, well we'll pass."
So the Palestinian gunmen's threats work. They don't want to be seen shooting at each other because it's bad for their image. They threaten the journalists, and they mean it.
A couple of weeks ago they blew up the offices of Arab television agency al-Arabiya because they didn't heed the warnings. Luckily nobody was there and there were no injuries.
And because the press doesn't want to get killed, the Palestinian gunmen get their way - nobody sees them killing each other. We see the funerals, but not the fighting. The Palestinians protect their image. Broadcasters don't tell the story. And the public gets short-changed.
It's not because the cameramen lack courage. I've seen Palestinian cameramen -- among the bravest, even most reckless, I've come across anywhere -- try to film through windows or from rooftops, while gunmen fire home-made shoulder-launched rocket propelled grenades and automatic rifles in all directions.
But now it has risen to a point where even recklessness would be foolish. In Somalia they used to call the rockets "weapons of no fixed address" because of their haphazard targeting. Now it's similar in Gaza.
A friend in Khan Younis, a city in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, says it's crazy there. Streets are empty, everyone is shooting guns for no reason, and bullets are slamming into houses and through windows randomly. He says he can't go shopping and nobody is working or going to school.
And my friend predicts that the situation will get a lot worse, very soon. It's like Somalia, Iraq, Lebanon, he said. Wherever the Islamic militants are fighting, it will always get worse, because they don't just want power, they want an Islamic state, and have begun the fight to get it.
An Israeli friend with contacts among the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a Palestinian militant group aligned with Fatah, told me what one of their fighters, who fights constantly against Hamas had to say about the violence.
"He told me, 'Listen, the Shiites, they are not like us Sunnis.'" (He was referring to Hamas, which, even though most of its members are actually Sunnis, has begun to be called Shiite by its rivals because they have come so strongly under the influence of Shiite-dominated Iran.)
"The Shiites will come here and slaughter me, and when he will come to slaughter me and the knife will be on my neck, I will tell him, why you kill me I'm a Muslim? I do all the Salichat, which is the good things according to the Koran: I fast and I pray. And the Shiite man would tell me, if you do all of that, then you will go to heaven, because I'm going to slaughter you." That's the al-Aksa fighter talking, no peacenik himself.