Gaza, ALRAY – The West Bank unrest surfaced after the killing of two Israeli soldiers in late September could by and large be viewed as a fomenter of a third Palestinian Intifada, as the signs of a possible one are getting much obvious with the tension in the West Bank increasing.
On September 28, 2013, the Palestinians marked the 13th anniversary of the Second Intifada which broke when former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon stormed into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound under the guard of hundreds of policemen and soldiers.
Popular calls including of the Palestinian resistance factions for stoking a third intifada had emerged while this anniversary was approaching, and have not stopped.
An Israeli military magazine lately said military leaders are talking about an increased popular resistance in the occupied West Bank and that the situation is similar to how it was prior to the First Intifada in 1987.
The term intifada is an Arabic word equivalent to ‘uprising’. It is not of Palestinian making, as it was first used in 1965 in Bahrain by leftist National Liberation Front which led an uprising against the British colonial presence under what so called “March Intifada”.
However, the Palestinian model of Intifada is distinguished from its precedents worldwide in that the Israel’s occupation of Palestine is the longest ever in the modern history.
The Palestinians’ distrust in Israel as a real peace partner had increased ever since the political fallout of the 1993 Oslo which failed to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and was went viral by failure of July 2000 Camp David talks between United States President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.
The nowadays political deadlock is reminiscent of the past international peace initiatives and might constitute an instigator for mass popular action which form is difficult to classify.
Palestinian President addressing the United Nations General Assembly said on September 26, 2013 “The window of peace is narrowing and the opportunities are diminishing… The current round of negotiations appears to be a last chance to realize a just peace… Merely thinking of the catastrophic and frightening consequences of failure must compel the international community to intensify efforts to seize upon this chance,”
Prominent Jerusalem Post newspaper reported that on September 29 “Deputy Israeli Defense Minister Danny Danon convened the heads of right-wing groups to plan strategies for blocking Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from advancing an interim agreement with the PA.”
“The meeting was intended to counter-balance pressure to move the diplomatic process forward that Netanyahu is expected to encounter in Monday’s meeting with US President Barack Obama,”
Danon stressed that the event was not an anti-Netanyahu meeting. The meeting Likud activists focused their criticism on the head of Israel’s chief negotiator with the Palestinians Tzipi Livni. “We won’t sit silently while Livni cooks an unacceptable deal,” Danon said. “We can’t let there be industrial quiet.”
While on the economic level, the West Bank-ruling donor-dependent Palestinian Authority had warned last month that its economy cannot grow under Israeli occupation and restrictions, echoing the findings of an International Monetary Fund report.
The IMF in its staff report released on September 5, 2013 spoke of “worrisome trends” in the Palestinian economy, including slowing GDP growth, unemployment of nearly 21 percent, and a cash crunch in the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinians’ mostly donor-funded ruling body set up after Oslo.
The report also said the West Bank and Gaza Strip’s economic prospects are “dim under (the) status quo,” and called for the removal of “obstacles to growth (such as) Israeli restrictions,” including on imports to the Palestinian territories.
Gaza’s economy has been hit hard by the recent heavy crackdown on the smugglers’ tunnels, the economic lifeline to Gaza which has been reeling under a seven-year-old blockade.
Oxfam said in its recent report released in September that the Gaza economy alone had lost about $76m annually because of Israeli restrictions on farmers and fishermen.
Intifada Youth Coalition called on late September for mass protests across Palestine against Israel’s gross violations of human rights and continued brutal occupation of Palestine.
While a recent poll found that Fifty-eight percent of Palestinians expect a third intifada if the peace talks with Israel fail.
The poll conducted by The Palestinian Center for Public Opinion surveyed 1,110 Palestinians representing a demographic sample of adults in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.
Hamas politburo member Dr. Mousa Abu Marzuok said a few days earlier “the four billion dollars plan would not succeed in saving the Palestinian Authority from political failure and would not abort a third intifada, which is in the offing,”
While PFLP leader Khalida Jarrar said on October 3 that security coordination between the PA and the occupation hinders the outbreak of a third popular Intifada in the West Bank. She urged the PA to immediately halt the ‘peace talks’ and put a resistance strategy to defend the Palestinian people.
However, the PA’s response to such escalating calls was clearly outspoken opposition. Asharq Alawsat newspaper quoted late September Palestinian security sources in Ramallah as saying the Palestinian Authority won’t allow an intifada against Israel in the West Bank.
The PA’s role seems to be going far more than just putting down a Palestinian uprising. The Israeli overnight assassinations against Karim Abu Sbeih, Majd Lahlouh, and Islam Tubasi all of PA-controlled Jenin city have passed without PA security forces’ intervention.
Moreover, recently in early October, the camp witnessed hundreds of Palestinian security forces launching arrests of several Islamic Jihad operatives.
On the other hand, political analyst Abdul Sattar Qassem believe that internal division inhibits a third intifada because such an event could not be unless it’s a popularly-propelled.
Is a third Palestinian Intifada is being held in the PA’s custody? Could it be possible under the absence of, at least politically, united Palestinian people? What form, in case it occurred, could characterize an upcoming intifada?