Palestinians: The Third Intifada Has Begun
Emboldened by the "victories," Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal recently reached a secret agreement on the need to launch a "popular intifada" against Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Their goal is to drag Israel into a confrontation with Palestinian civilians — one that would embarrass the Israelis among the international community and force them to capitulate.
By allowing Hamas to celebrate its 25th anniversary in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority leadership is paving the way for a third intifada against Israel.
In fact, in the past few days, the third intifada has already begun, as violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers have increased in various parts of the West Bank.
Tens of thousands of Hamas supporters have taken to the streets of Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron and Tulkarem to celebrate the event, the first of its kind since the Islamist movement expelled the Palestinian Authority from the Gaza Strip in 2007.
Since then, in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority had been cracking down on Hamas, arresting hundreds of its supporters and members and closing down dozens of institutions belonging to the movement.
In recent weeks, however, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has apparently decided to endorse a new strategy towards Hamas. He now considers Hamas a political ally rather than an enemy.
The change came immediately after the Israeli military offensive against Hamas in mid-November.
The rapprochement between Abbas and Hamas reached its peak before and after the UN General Assembly vote in favor of upgrading the Palestinians' status to non-member observer state in late November.
Both Abbas and Hamas see the two events -- the war in the Gaza Strip and the UN vote — as "historic achievements" and military and political victories over Israel.
Emboldened by the "victories," Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal recently reached a secret agreement on the need to launch a "popular intifada" against Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources in Ramallah revealed.
The two men believe that such an intifada at this stage would further isolate Israel and earn the Palestinians even more sympathy in the international arena, the sources said.
Abbas and Mashaal are aware, the sources noted, that the Palestinians are now not ready for another military confrontation with Israel -- neither in the West Bank nor in the Gaza Strip.
That is why the two men agreed that the best and only option facing the Palestinians these days is a "popular intifada" that would see Palestinian youths engage in daily confrontations with Israeli soldiers and settlers, especially in the West Bank.
Abbas and Mashaal want an uprising similar to the first intifada, which erupted in 1987, when Palestinians mainly used stones and firebombs against soldiers and settlers, and refrained from launching terror attacks inside Israel.
Yet Abbas and Mashaal seem to disagree on the ultimate goal of the "popular intifada."
While Abbas is hoping that daily clashes between Palestinian stone-throwers and Israeli soldiers will force Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 lines, including east Jerusalem, Mashaal and his Hamas movement are hoping that the uprising would lead to the "liberation of all Palestine, from the Jordan river to the sea."
Abbas and Hamas have decided for now to lay their differences aside and work towards escalating tensions on the ground, particularly in the West Bank. Representatives of the two parties have been holding "reconciliation" talks in Cairo during the past few weeks in a bid to agree on a new strategy against Israel.
Their goal is to drag Israel into a confrontation with Palestinian civilians -- one that would embarrass the Israelis among the international community and force them to capitulate.
Reader comments on this item
|A predictable alliance [12 words]||Gary Katz||Dec 20, 2012 14:37|
|The target of the intifada [76 words]||Jeffrey||Dec 20, 2012 08:49|
|Khaled, you are appreciated! [14 words]||Emet||Dec 20, 2012 01:38|
|Lessons from 2006 and 2012 [133 words]||Jossef||Dec 19, 2012 14:42|
|Third intifada [11 words]||Sara||Dec 18, 2012 07:54|
|Part of the Plan [74 words]||Michelle||Dec 17, 2012 13:48|
|Third intifada? [25 words]||Dusan Kahan||Dec 17, 2012 06:15|
|If you want to talk, talk; don't shoot [146 words]||Sharon||Dec 17, 2012 06:09|
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by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Salim Mansur
What we are witnessing is Israel engaged in a struggle against Hamas, against Palestinians, against Arabs, against Muslims, and against an expanding body of opinion in the West that is less and less inhibited from displaying the rancid anti-Semitism behind its support for those who openly call for another Holocaust for the Jews.
Gaza was returned to the Palestinians in 2005 as a test for building trust.
This verse [31:27 ] means that no one Muslim should claim that he has a monopoly over the reading of the Quran, for that would amount to reducing the majesty of God to the smallness of man.
The sound of battle is louder than the call to prayer.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
Evidently Abbas has reached the conclusion that unless he hurries up and declares his support for the Palestinian "resistance" in the Gaza Strip, his people will march on his office and force him to quit. Abbas's fear of a revolt has driven him into the open arms of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Another reason for the unexpected change in Abbas's policy might be the promise of financial aid he received from Qatar -- an enemy of Egypt's al-Sisi, but the largest funder of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
Abbas know that if he wants to survive, he will have to be on the side of the radicals.
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Lawrence A. Franklin
There is no change in U.S policy toward Israel that will win any true allies in the Middle East, despite what Arab leaders claim. They often assert that if only we would solve the Palestinian-Israeli problem first, relations would improve. This is a tactic. These leaders employ it simply to divert Western officials from making demands on them, instead of on Israel. The reality is that most Arabs view the U.S., its European allies and Israel with ineradicable contempt.