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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘third intifada’

Egypt is Boiling

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

During the years of Mubarak’s rule, he had only three true supporters: his wife Suzanne and his sons Gamal and Alaa. All of the other figures that surrounded Mubarak were politicians and sycophants who took advantage of their proximity to the president to extract favors as long as he was able to grant them. The moment that they felt that he was weak, they abandoned him to the fate of dismissal and the defendant’s cage. In contrast, in Mursi’s case there were, and still are, tens of millions of supporters who are ready at a moment’s notice to fight to the end, in order to return him to power. This is the reason for the contrast between the ease with which Mubarak was taken down and the difficulties that the army has been experiencing in its attempts to stabilize the state since Mursi was thrown out of office about three months ago, at the beginning of July of this year (2013).

The most important and sensitive indicator of the current state of political stability is what is happening in the educational system: If the schools open on schedule, students go to school as usual and studies in all of the institutions are conducted normally, it is a sign of a stable state, and a functional government, based on legitimacy and wide public acceptance. When life is disrupted, the first thing to be harmed is the educational system because parents don’t send their children out into the streets in a situation that they consider to be dangerous.

The Egyptian school year was supposed to begin these days. But despite the fact that many of its leaders are behind bars, the Muslim Brotherhood came out with the rhyming slogan: “La Dirasa wala tadris hata yarga al-Rais” – “No school and no instruction until the president’s return”.

The universities are more than just institutions of higher learning, because they also serve as a meeting place, a place to express solidarity and a field of activity for the young guard, the energetic ones of the Muslim Brotherhood, who are quite aware that after they successfully finish their academic studies, there will be several years of searching for work in their field, and many frustrations and disappointments stemming from the widespread protectionism that exists within the Egyptian job market, and certainly within the governmental job market.

Today, when the average age of marriage has risen to over thirty years of age because of economic difficulties, the young men and women channel their energies, their frustrations and their aggression into the political arena, in the absence of any other legitimate channel in a conservative society such as Egypt’s.  Because of their age and family status, the pupils and students do not yet need to submit to the need for bribery and flattery that family heads have to, in order to maintain their livelihood, and this allows them to say, and even to shout, truth to power and its henchmen.

In high schools, colleges and universities throughout Egypt, and especially those in indigent and traditional areas, there are many demonstrations these days. Although these demonstrations are mostly peaceful in character, they express the emotions of the masses, who are enraged that the revolution has led to the downfall of the Muslim Brotherhood. Some of the youths are armed, mainly with knives and handguns, and there is high potential for violence to break out.

In parallel with the teachers’ strike there have been attempts to organize commercial strikes, but these attempts have failed because many of the unemployed in Egypt are street vendors who are not unionized, so it is difficult to get them to cooperate, since their income will suffer.

As of this writing, the UN Economic Council in New York is currently conducting activities, where Egypt is represented by Nabil Fahmi, the army-appointed Foreign Minister in the current military government. This is another reason for ferment among the supporters of the deposed president, Mursi, and they have been organizing protest demonstrations in front of UN representatives in Egypt. These demonstrations, should they become habitual, might bring about a violent response from the army, similar to the violent evacuation of Rabia al-Adawiya Square last month (August, 2013), which cost the lives of dozens of people.

The Long List of Arab Riots Throughout Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem

Friday, September 27th, 2013

There has been an escalation of Arab attacks all week long, but since early Friday afternoon, Arabs have been violently rioting throughout Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem following Arab calls for violent demonstrations.

Dozens of attacks have been reported today, here is a partial roundup of some of the attacks:

Local Mount of Olive residents were told to bring in their Sukkahs overnight, after they received advance warning that Arabs were planning to burn down their Sukkahs on Friday with firebombs.

Hundred of Arabs were stoning Jews with cinder-blocks and stones on the road leading to the Mount of Olives neighborhoods.

Undercover police officers managed to identify and apprehend the ringleaders of the riot, and dispersed the remaining Arab hooligans.

From Tazpit News Agency:

Approximately 100 Arabs are rioting near Kever Rachel.

Two pipe bombs were thrown near Kever Rachel.

Near Sha’ar Shechem (Damascus Gate) in Jerusalem, a policeman was lightly injured by Arab rock throwers.

A soldier was injured near Beit Omar from stone throwing. His teeth were broken when a stone hit him in the face.

Near Assawiyah in Jerusalem, Arabs are throwing stones and burning tires.

Arab are throwing stones at Beit Hadassah in Hebron.

Arabs are burning an agricultural field near Hebron.

Arabs are rioting near Shechem.

Arabs threw stones at cars near Efrat in Gush Etzion.

A firebomb was thrown at IDF troops near Beit Omar.

On road 60, between Gush Etzion and Hebron, Arabs are throwing stones at cars and policemen.

Arabs lit up a tire between Beit Fa’jar and Migdal Oz in Gush Etzion.

Violent riots have been reported near Ne’elin. One person was injured.

IDF Chief: No Intention to Change Rules of Engagement in Judea and Samaria

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Following reports in the Israeli press on IDF reserve and enlisted soldiers complaining about their humiliating experiences during countless incidents of being hit, pelted with rocks and firebombed and being unable to react on account of the IDF rules of engagement, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Ganz on Tuesday said “there is no intention of changing the rules of engagement.” This despite the fact that so many soldiers have testified that their lives are in danger during those incidents, and that often their only realistic option is to hide or flee.

One soldier quoted his superior officer as saying: “I prefer to visit you in hospital than in court.” (Read: IDF Latest Response to Arab Riots: ‘Nerf’ Bullets).

The chief of staff said that he and the defense minister give their full support to Central Command Chief, Gen. Nitzan Alon, who is considered by many Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria as the core of the problem, because of his leftist views.

Lt.-Gen. Ganz said: “If we loosen the reins, there will be an escalation in Judea and Samaria and we will lose control. We have to improve the manner by which we train soldiers to act according to the existing rules.”

I’ll cite here once more the IDF Spokesperson’s Office’s explanation of the apparent conflicts and outright suffering and humiliation, not to speak of life endangerment, faced by soldiers trying to do their jobs facing violent Arab demonstrators. The response reads like something written by a team of legal and psychological experts:

“The IDF forces in Judea and Samaria are challenged daily by a complex reality requiring professionalism and determination together with judgment. The rules of engagement in Judea and Samaria facilitate an appropriate range of responses to a wide variety of threats faced by IDF forces and they are tested occasionally according to evaluations. It must be stressed that taking immediate action against violators of the public order and popular terror activists does not negate determined and effective action, and at its root lies the understanding that as small a number of injured as possible would help guard the security stability in the region.”

In this reporter’s view, the extra training required to better train IDF soldiers to comply with the above might as well include three years of law school.

The chief of staff was responding to complaints from right wing MKs on the Foreign and Defense Committee, about what is emerging as a third intifada in Judea and Samaria, engineered by the Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian Authority.

“I don’t like the signs against Gen. Nitzan Alon,” Ganz added.

So now it’s mutual.

Rockets Precede Him

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

This morning a rocket (or two according to some news sites) was fired at Ashkelon. No injuries, and of more concern, no siren to give those few seconds of warning. Yesterday, there were riots and many stoning attacks. Hamas has once again called for its “fighters” to kidnap soldiers.

I never for a moment believed this cease fire would last; never thought this was the dawn of a different enemy. But I thought we had more time; I still hope we do. I predicted six months of “relative quiet” – instead, we got only about two months.

And the reason….

I believe it is Obama’s upcoming visit. I do. The Palestinians have been cooking up this idea of when and how to put on the pressure, to start their next intifada. They have always believed that what they cannot achieve through international pressure, lies, and mistruths, they can accomplish with violence. We all knew it was a matter of time – I just thought there’d be more.

It was an M75 long range missile fired at a city with over 120,000 people.

Barack Obama is coming to Israel – for what, we have no idea. Some say to put pressure on Israel not to attack Iran – and for that I ask what right he has to pressure us, to think he knows more of what the Iranians plan to do than we do.

Some say he wants to restart the peace process, another absurd concept showing his utter lack of understanding. Obama does not know how to deal with the Middle East situation, but I have no doubt the Arabs no how to deal with Obama.

It shouldn’t be happening now…and it wouldn’t be, if Obama has not announced his upcoming visit. We don’t need Obama to visit. We simply do not.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother, where this blog was originally published under the title, “It Shouldn’t be Happening Now…”.

 

Palestinians for the Dissolution of the PA

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Occasionally a journalist must show his readers a disturbing, difficult and complex picture, so that they will not be surprised when reality hits them in the face. It is not my intention to spread anti-Israeli propaganda, but rather to illustrate the prevailing mood that confronts us, for this is the task that I am entrusted with and this is the responsibility that rests on my shoulders.

Several days ago, Mahmoud Abbas, head of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, announced that if negotiations with Israel are not renewed in a way that will lead the Palestinian people toward their goal, he will invite Netanyahu to Ramallah, he “will lay the keys on the table” and dissolve the PA. This announcement, which was given to the newspaper “Haaretz,” was supposed to shock Israel to its foundations, but that is not what happened: the Israeli public – which is preoccupied with upcoming elections – did not go berserk as a result, and the announcement was left hanging in the air.
But the Palestinian public is not indifferent to events, and in recent weeks we have seen an increase in public disturbances in Judea and Samaria. The Arabs who are residents of the disputed territories take Abu Mazen’s announcement in various ways: some fear an outbreak of violent acts that will harm not only Israel but them as well; some fear that dissolution of the PA might cause an economic downturn, but there are some who wish for the dissolution of the PA and not because of Zionist motives.
We bring the words of one of these, Ahmed Muhsin, who, after Abbas’s announcement about dissolving the PA, published the following article (my comments in parenthesis):
“Since the PA is meaningless, dissolve it if you can and leave us be!!”
By Ahmed Muhsin
Western media have publicized Abbas’s announcement and called it “Earth-shattering News”, thus revealing how the West regards the PA. We have no intention of analyzing the announcements, their meaning or their timing (the Israeli pre-election season) but only to raise questions that we have heard from the various shades and sectors of the general public. The people are convinced that the PA is not the seed from which a Palestinian state will sprout.  Those who designed it and brought it here have promised us (so that the masses will applaud them and we will believe in it) that it will bring us peace that will turn us into Singapore in Palestine.
The PA is a bitter experiment for which the Palestinian people have paid a high price, as we see today and as the martyr Abu Amar (Yasir Arafat) remarked in his last days. The result, which we witness and live each and every moment in the occupied territories, is a rapid growth of settlements, the building of the racist separation wall, the Judaization of Jerusalem and the land, a rise in the number of captives and prisoners, security collaboration with the occupiers, dependency of our people on the hook of salaries that the PA pays, to the point where we beg our enemies to pay us what we have earned and beg for crumbs at the doors of donors, who pay and give grants – and nothing comes for free – in addition to the results of the Oslo Accords and the establishment of the PA, which caused the shameful split (between the PLO and Hamas). So where is the threat in dissolving the PA when it is [directed/ toward the occupation and especially to Netanyahu? Must we wait until the outcome of the elections in the occupying country with its militaristic society? Must we wait also for the results of the elections in the United States in order to formulate]] our policy each time anew?
Is the slogan “The PA is a national achievement” true or false? Are those right who claim that the PA is not a Palestinian entity, and that’s why it serves its resignation to its masters (the Israelis)? Is it logical that an entity that is on such a (high) level as the PA, a state with observer status at the UN, should present its resignation to the occupation and call for the occupation to return and its army invade Palestinian land? Is Abu Mazen the only one who has the authority to take the decision to dissolve the PA? Where are the Palestinian institutions, who are interested in the subject? The PLO? The Fatah Movement? The various Palestinian offshoots? Was the issue presented to them and were they consulted on the matter of dissolution of the PA? Or perhaps we belong to the third world and have become a one-man organization, a one-man political entity where all governmental authorities are held by one man?
Was the goal of Abu Mazen’s threat to dissolve the PA and hand over the keys of the West Bank to the Israeli occupation, just another attempt to drag Israel into negotiations by pressuring Israel and the United States; will he give up the condition that settlement activity must be stopped before returning to negotiations? If this is true, can the problem of Palestine endure another twenty years, treading a path with no possibility of arriving at a solution?
Does Abu Mazen have the authority to decide to dissolve the PA? Can such a decision be reached by Palestinians alone (without the involvement of higher bodies such as the Arab League and the UN)? Why – after all of the marching in place – is there no decision to confront the arrogant occupation and call for (violent) resistance as the martyr Yasir Arafat did, may Allah have mercy on him? Is Abu Mazen serious in the threat to dissolve the PA? Or perhaps it is just another empty threat, like previous threats which were not carried out? Does Abu Mazen hear the voices of nationalist demands to return to the situation that preceded the Oslo Accords and its consequences, to escalate the (violent) resistance and to place the responsibility on the occupation, especially in light of the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territories?
Will Abu Mazen carry out the threat to dissolve the PA? Or perhaps he will respond to the pressure of special-interest groups who stand to gain from the continuation of the PA, are these the topics that provide meaningless descriptions for the hallucinatory analysts of the situation? These people produce declarations] that weaken our determination; they are bullies of surrender, supporters of the (Zionist) lie who defend it at any price, under the illusory signs and slogans that have no connection to reality beyond their own narrow interests.
Is the threat to dissolve the PA the admission of the Oslo architects of its utter failure? Will a power vacuum reign in the occupied territories after the dissolution of the PA? (This is the most concerning situation of all, because then the Arab society in Judea and Samaria might deteriorate into violent internal conflicts, as is currently happening in Syria.) Will the resistance (Hamas) fill this void? (What will the situation be between Hamas and the PLO) after the reorganization of the PLO and activation of its institutions, as it continues to grapple with the occupation until liberation, the return (of the refugees into Israeli territory), the achievement of freedom and independence?
Dissolve it! O Abu Mazen if you could only do that!!! Turn your threat into reality!!! Translate it into deeds!!! Enough already with empty talk and wasting time, because the PA has become meaningless and it doesn’t even have control of its own decisions. It is a mere hired hand, or contractor for the occupation, and there will not be a power vacuum after the dissolution, since the heroic arms of the resistance will be there to deal with the occupation and sweep it off to hell!!!”

This concludes the article, which, in my opinion, reflects the mood of many. In the past seven years, since the second intifada was put down, many have forgotten its horrors and severe consequences, and many youths – who were only children then – have today become “shabab” who lead the resistance against Israel. There is in this situation a generational struggle, between the elders who seek a solution and the youth, who see solution as surrender.

Tens of Thousands of Judea and Samaria Hamas Loyalists Have Launched the Third Intifada

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

By allowing Hamas to celebrate its 25th anniversary in Judea and Samaria, 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 Judea and Samaria.

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 Judea and Samaria, 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 Judea and Samaria and the 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 Judea and Samaria.

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 Judea and Samaria. 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.

This article was slightly edited and originally published at the Gatestone Institute

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/khaled-abu-toameh/tens-of-thousands-of-judea-and-samaria-hamas-loyalists-have-launched-the-third-intifada/2012/12/19/

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