Israeli security officials are bracing for a massive Arab “Day of Rage” today, the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and have restricted entry to the Temple Mount to men over the age of 50 and without an age limit on women.
Hamas leaders in Israel and outside the country have called for the renewal of the intifada, and leaders of the rival Fatah movement, headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, led the march and violent riots to the outskirts of Jerusalem late Thursday night.
Rioters challenged police at the Kalandia checkpoint in northern Jerusalem and at Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, south of the city, as seen in the video below.
At least one Arab was killed, and 27 police officers were injured. Arab officials accused of the police of using live fire to break up the riots, but some of the protesters fired gunshots at police from within the crowd. Police arrested 39 rioters, of whom an estimated 200 were injured.
Abbas has failed several times in the past three years to convince Arabs to stage peaceful protests, and at least two “million-man” marches drew less than 1,000 supporters.
The “Arab Spring” has not spread to the Arab street in Judea and Samaria for the simple reason, rejected by foreign and even local media, that they have more to lose than to gain with violent protests.
The Palestinian Authority is unquestionably corrupt from top to bottom and has promised its followers the moon while delivering nothing because of its refusal to compromise and even recognizing Israel, whatever its borders, as a Jewish state.
Organizers of Friday’s protest are using social media, including the Twitter hashtag #48kMarch
Hamas television has aired songs encouraging a renewal of the intifada, and Abbas has called on Arabs to donate blood at Arab hospitals while rejecting donations from Jews.
A huge protest Friday would provide Hamas with a glimmer of hope for boosting its morale, which has been decimated not only by the IDF’s spectacular intelligence and combat maneuvers to foil terrorist attacks and destroy terror tunnel but also by day-by-day exposure of its policy of committing war crimes by using civilians as human shields to attack Israel.
The war in Gaza broke out shortly after Abbas and Hamas agreed to a unity government. After initially condemn including Hamas for its wild rocket attacks on Israel, Abbas did an about-face and backed Hamas.
The more he is identified with Hamas, the less respect he has in the international community. If he distances himself from Hamas, the more he places his life in danger in the face of Hamas and anti-Abbas elements who want him out of power after serving as chairman for nine years after being elected four a four-year term.
Democracy doesn’t work for Palestinian Authority Arabs. Riots so far have now worked. The “peace process” did not work because it never was anything more than a process of rejection.
The only thing that has worked for Arabs in Judea Gaza and Samaria has been the relative freedom they enjoyed after the end of the Egyptian rule and Jordanian occupation in the Six-Day War in 1967.
After Israel took de facto control of the areas and limited its rule to maintaining security, the economy flourished and standard of living rose sharply until Yasser Arafat came on the scene.
The Palestinian Authority has incited an entire generation that never knew the pre-intifada years, to hate Israel and to believe that they have a right to all of “Palestine,” from the Lebanese border to the Egyptian border and form the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
Abbas’s incitement and victories in diplomatic battles but a total loss in the diplomatic war to reach his goals have left him in a lose-lose situation, no matter the success or failure of Friday’s planned “day of rage.”
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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