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PLO Supporting Escalating Violence But No ‘Third Intifada’ in Sight

"The atmosphere is similar to the first intifada: it's popular, non-violent and massive and will spread all over the Palestinian territories."

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Far from being a mass movement so far, Arab protests over the past few days have amounted to local trickles.

Far from being a mass movement so far, Arab protests over the past few days have amounted to local trickles.
Photo Credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90

The Palestinian Authority supports and helped organized an escalation in popular resistance in Judea and Samaria, a senior Fatah official said Sunday.

“Resistance is a natural right and we agree unanimously on escalating popular resistance,” Azzam al-Ahmad told the Beirut-based al-Mayadeen satellite channel.

Al-Ahmad, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, said the Palestinian Authority had helped escalate popular resistance in Judea and Samaria.

He said the PA is considering complaining to the UN Security Council over the death of 30-year-old Arafat Jaradat in Israeli custody on Saturday.

Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoners Issa Qaraqe said Sunday that Jaradat died as result of extreme torture. The Palestinian Authority state pathologist was present at the autopsy on Jaradat’s body, which was carried out in Israel.

“There were marks of torture on the back, marks of torture on the chest, a deep wound on the upper side of the shoulder, wounds alongside the spine and marks of torture underneath the skin,” Qaraqe said, based on the Palestinian doctor’s basic findings.

This description is extremely different from the published conclusions of the Israeli report on the same autopsy, which found no signs of torture whatsoever. The only marks of violence on the body, according to the report, were breaks in two ribs on the right, which is typically the result of attempts to revive a patient.

The Fatah’s Al-Ahmad said Jaradat’s death would further deteriorate the situation, which was already tense amid protests over the plight of four Palestinians on hunger strike in Israeli jails.

He said the ongoing unrest could lead to a third intifada, “and if that happens, Israel’s arrogance will be the cause.”

Meretz Chairperson Zehava Gal-on also cited the possibility of a new intifada erupting as a consequence of the suspended talks between the Netanyahu government and the PA on the future of peace and the two-state solution.

But despite the obvious urgings of Arab and Israeli-left leaders, no viable intifada is exploding just yet. There have been loud and occasionally violent protests throughout Judea and Samaria and Gaza on Sunday, and dozens of Palestinians were injured in violent clashes with the Israeli army, but on each occasion rioting was not exactly overwhelming, and IDF units were able to deflect it rather easily.

The committee for popular resistance in Palestine on Monday called for more protests and solidarity tents in response to Jaradat’s death.

The committee said Israel had killed Jaradat to put down strikes by Palestinian detainees. “This crime committed by Israel will receive its punishment,” it said in a statement.

Palestinian MP and secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative Mustafa Barghouti said on Monday that escalating protests were “a natural development of popular non-violent resistance into a popular non-violent intifada and there is nothing left for Palestinians but to use their popular resistance to get their freedom.

“The Israelis have left no door open for Palestinians. They’ve killed every possibility for peace during the last 20 years, throughout the so-called Oslo process,” Barghouti told Ma’an.

“They are using settlements and Israeli army violence to provoke Palestinians and suppress them. We counted tens of cases of people hit with live ammunition in the last week,” Barghouti added.

Barghouti, said the international community had ignored the Palestinian issue “and Palestinians have realized they are to rely on themselves.”

He added: “The atmosphere is similar to the first intifada: it’s popular, non-violent and massive and will spread all over the Palestinian territories.”

Israeli Internal Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch told Channel 10 on Sunday that even though the situation in Judea and Samaria is serious enough to merit serious attention on the part of the security forces, it is still a far cry from an intifada.

Three days ago, Daniel Greenfield noted that “although the Palestinian Authority probably does not want an all-out confrontation between Palestinians and Israelis at this stage, some Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah believe that a ‘mini-intifada’ would serve the Palestinians’ interests, especially on the eve of Obama’s visit.”

As has been revealed by Yasser Arafat’s widow, Suha, in an interview with Dubai TV earlier this month, the late Palestinian leader planned the second intifada for months before it erupted following Ariel Sharon’s mythical visit to Temple Mount in 2000. Ironically, the well planned intifada was Arafat’s response to the most sweeping offer by the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and President Bill Clinton, which included handing over East Jerusalem to the PA.

That “popular” uprising ended with the deaths of 3,000 Palestinians—mostly combatants, and around 1,000 Israelis—mostly civilians.

Yori Yanover

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

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