Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A New Intifada?

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

There has been a serious rise in violence in the West Bank over the past few weeks. The IDF, the police and intelligence service have begun to call it a mini intifada or uprising

Actually, no one wants to even use the word because of its historical resonance, but, given the events, it seems both appropriate and accurate. In fact, several factors are emerging signaling that a full blown intifada might be on the way.

Over the past few months there have been several hundred small acts of violence in the West Bank. This past week the incidents escalated in seriousness. There were three large incidents including the Palestinian sniper who, yesterday, killed an Israeli defense contractor.

Abbas has given a green light to attacks against symbols of the occupation and the situation is getting out of hand. The Palestinian leader hopes to add pressure on Israel to force negotiations - but once out of the bottle, violence will not be easily stemmed or directed.

Frustration on the part of youthful Palestinians, couples with a rejection of the establishment and current PA leadership has resulted in the rise of popularity of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi groups in the West Bank.

These groups are independent of the PA. They are not controlled by Abbas but have received his nod and do not fear PA security forces.

They are beginning to strike Israel on their own.

All this means that at any moment the West Bank could explode. And that does not even take into account the potential of a retaliatory Israeli strike that could easily trigger this new intifada. 

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