ISRAELI SECURITY AGENCIES ARE WARNING OF A THIRD Palestinian Intifada, saying that conditions in the occupied Palestinian Territories are ripe for another uprising. The Palestinian Authority (PA) is developing strategies to isolate Israel while Hamas, which has now sworn never to recognise Israel is growing in strength in the West Bank while consolidating its unification with its political rival Fatah.
Simultaneously, Israel is continuing to expropriate Palestinian land, expanding illegal settlements in strategically sensitive areas in an attempt to create facts on the ground thereby making a two-state solution to the prolonged Israeli-Palestinian conflict nigh impossible. Further fuelling this volatile cocktail are the continued price tag attacks on Palestinians by rabid Israeli settlers in the Palestinian West Bank.
A new Palestinian group called the National Union Battalions (NUB), comprising Palestinians from across the political spectrum, has called for a third Palestinian uprising or Intifada. The warnings of a third uprising come as increasingly violent protests and clashes, between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian youths, continue to break out across cities and towns in the West Bank.
One of the larger and more violent protests took place in Hebron, in the southern West Bank in early December, sparked by an Israeli border guard's killing of Muhammad Salayma, aged 17, under questionable circumstances.
A video distributed shortly afterward by NUB members from Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) announced the establishment of their organisation as a means of consolidating the struggle against Israel.
While the group stressed its support for the UN's recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state, it said it would fight to recover "all of Palestine--from the sea to the river."
"This is the beginning of a third Palestinian Intifada, which is erupting from the heart of Hebron and will spread to all of Palestine," said a spokesman in a video released to the media.
The members further threatened to kidnap Israeli soldiers if the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) didn't stop arresting Palestinians, adding that if Israel continued to kill Palestinians with impunity, the group would retaliate in kind.
The demands of the Battalions include removing all IDF checkpoints in the West Bank, the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, an Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Palestinian land, and the transfer of all tax revenues Israel has been withholding from the PA since the UN voted on upgrading the Palestinians' status. They...