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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Quisling Palestinian Authority Does Its Best to Undermine Resistance to the Occupation

As resistance mounts in the West Bank and Jerusalem to the constant attacks on the Palestinians, including the death of more Palestinian children, Abbas demonstrates that his quisling PA should receive no support from solidarity organisations abroad.  The PA is nothing more than a sub-contractor to the Israeli military.  The Times of Israel article below makes it clear what Abbas sees as his priority, demobilising the Palestinian protests with his American trained security forces.  Jonathan Cook from Nazareth paints a similar picture and the third article is from the BBC, which as has already been shown, is more than willing to convey the message Israel wants to get across.

Tony Greenstein
Abbas ponders how best to jump to Netanyahu's tune

Abbas tells PA forces to urgently quell West Bank protests

3 Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli troops Sunday-Monday, following Palestinian terror attacks in which four Israelis killed

By Times of Israel staff and Avi Issacharoff October 5, 2015, 9:38 pm 22

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations headquarters on September 30, 2015 in New York City (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)
Fire first, ask questions later
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ordered his security chiefs to do their utmost to urgently quell surging West Bank protests Saturday night.

Abbas issued the orders to his security apparatus after days of escalating violence which saw four Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorists since Thursday and three Palestinians killed during clashes with the IDF on Sunday and Monday.
AFP - Image caption Israeli troops responded with "riot dispersal means", including live ammunition
The PA leader intervened as Israel’s security cabinet convened in Jerusalem to discuss new measures to halt the violence. Abbas said his forces needed to act more firmly in order to deny Israel the pretext for a West Bank crackdown, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been communicating in the past 24 hours in an attempt to calm the escalating violence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, a senior PA official told The Times of Israel earlier on Monday night.
Reuters - The Israeli military said it was investigating the incidents in which the youths were killed
The official noted that Palestinian protests in the past two days have started to draw hundreds of youths, underlining concerns, he said, “that we are witnessing the start of a third intifada.”

There were clashes between Palestinians throwing stones and petrol bombs and burning tires in some 25 locations in the West Bank on Monday, Israel’s Channel 2 said.

In their exchanges of messages, Israeli officials have told the PA that the Israeli security forces intend to take firmer measures to prevent settler extremist violence against Palestinians, the PA official said. 

Image copyright Reuters-Palestinian protesters threw stones at Israeli troops in the city of Bethlehem on Monday

The Israelis also noted that there will be a reduction in Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount as the High Holiday period comes to an end.
The PA source said that Palestinian security forces were still working to maintain calm, despite Abbas’s declaration at the UN last week that the PA was no longer bound by its agreements with Israel. However, he said it was getting increasingly difficult for the PA to do so.

“We are witnessing the start of a third intifada, and Israel is not doing enough to rein in violence,” the PA official charged. “The number of gunfire victims hospitalized today was out of the ordinary; it’s not clear to us if there have been new rules introduced on opening fire. This certainly won’t de-escalate the situation.”

Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel is “waging a fight to the death against Palestinian terror.” He has partly blamed Abbas for inciting the escalation in violence. Abbas has alleged — including during his speech to the UN last Wednesday — that Israel is allowing “extremists” into the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and that Israel plans to change the status quo regarding access to the contested holy site. Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected these claims.

Israeli security officials were also braced for demonstrations in the Israeli Arab sector on Monday night, with protests planned for Sakhnin in the lower Galilee, among other locations. Betar Jerusalem and local team Bnei Sakhnin were playing a soccer match in the Arab city Monday night, an encounter that is routinely tense.

In Nazareth, in northern Israel, masked youths burned tires, threw stones and blocked a junction Monday night. They were dispersed by police.

Netanyahu ‘better not disturb the status quo’

6 October 2015

Analysis: Israel’s crackdown on Palestinian unrest threatens to topple Abbas
Al-Jazeera – 6 October 2015

The rapid escalation in violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank in recent days suggests that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be entering a new phase, analysts say.

While some observers were quick to label this a third Palestinian uprising or “Intifada”, the term risks obscuring as much as it reveals.

The latest clashes, according to analysts, are occurring in a new physical and political reality. Palestinian society has been atomised by separation walls, checkpoints, and an expanding network of settlements and military bases.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian national movement is deeply divided, the Arab world is in disarray, the West is focused on its own economic and social troubles, and Israel is adamantly opposed to negotiations.

Unlike the earlier intifadas, points out Menachem Klein, of Bar Ilan University, near Tel Aviv, the clashes are not chiefly about resistance. They have been provoked by the growing stranglehold the settlers enjoy, both on the ground and on government policy.

“There are now so many settlers that there is zero distance between Palestinian communities and the settlements,” notes Klein. “That ensures constant friction.”

Over the past few years, the settlers have dramatically increased their so-called “price-tag” attacks. They regularly stone neighbouring Palestinian villages or sometimes use army-issued weapons; they set light to Palestinian places of worship; they steal land, burn crops and take over water sources.

The Palestinians’ growing sense of vulnerability was underscored by the arson attack in late July on the village of Duma that left three members of the Dawabsheh family dead, including an 18-month-old baby.

In Jerusalem, settlers have been aggressively staking their claim at the most sensitive site in the conflict: the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City.

Faced with threats from the settlers and a leadership vacuum, Palestinians have begun organising themselves locally, “at the village or neighbourhood level”, points out Samir Awad, a political scientist at Birzeit University, near Ramallah.

Palestinian popular committees, which were created to defend against settler violence, have made clashes – and tit-for-tat revenge attacks – inevitable.

Locked into prison cells

Also confusing the picture is the lack of clarity about what Palestinians hope to achieve, aside from revenge or letting off steam.

Awad argues that Palestinians are no longer sure what they need to shake off first. “Is it the larger occupation, the individual miseries they endure from the settlers and army, or the Palestinian leaders, who have achieved so little for them?”

Jerusalem-based analyst Jeff Halper points to the Palestinians’ mounting hopelessness, describing current events as a kind of “lashing out”. “Palestinians see no political process. They are being locked into their prison cells. They feel they have nothing to lose.”

Until now, the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is committed to enforcing security in the islands of West Bank territory it ostensibly controls, has mostly succeeded in preventing the protests from spreading to the Palestinian cities.

But the PA’s ability to contain these frustrations are in doubt, observes Halper, given that they already suffer from a massive credibility problem among Palestinians.

The very unruliness of the current events means Israel is struggling to respond effectively.
For some time, Israel has been characterising most Palestinian attacks on Israelis, especially those in Jerusalem where the PA and Hamas are effectively barred, as “lone wolf” incidents.

These spontaneous outbursts of violence by Palestinian individuals have exposed the Israeli security services to a new kind of challenge.

Boiling point in Jerusalem

In Jerusalem, Israel has been trying to present an image of normality to the outside world and visiting tourists, while waging a low-level war against Palestinians. It has assisted the settlers in “Judaising” the city and strengthening their presence around al-Aqsa.

But the simmering violence has been close to its boiling point for the past year, since Jewish extremists burned alive 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, says Klein, has only one option: more force. “His thinking is strictly short term. He is interested primarily in crisis management. He believes he can rebuild quiet for Israel through shock treatment.”

In an attempt to restore order, the Israeli government has been ramping up the pressure on Palestinians by imposing draconian measures, especially in Jerusalem.

It has, for the first time, temporarily shut Jerusalem’s Old City to Palestinians who are not residents.
Muslim guardians at al-Aqsa, commonly known as al-Mourabitoun, have been outlawed, and Palestinian worship severely restricted. Israel has authorised live-fire against stone-throwers and minimum four-year jail terms.There will also be fast-track demolition of the homes of relatives of Palestinians who carry out attacks.

Even so, the settlers are not satisfied.

On Monday night, thousands surrounded Netanyahu’s residence in a show of force, demanding he build a new settlement for every Palestinian attack. They have been egged on by settler leaders in his government.

Pondering invasion

There has been speculation that, as the pressure mounts, Netanyahu may order a large-scale reinvasion of the West Bank, similar to Operation Defensive Shield of 2002, which sought to crush the second Intifada.

Such a scenario is unlikely, observed Awad, because it would only risk bringing down Abbas and the PA.

“Israel has control. The Palestinian armed factions are no longer organised in the West Bank. Abbas is coordinating with Israel on security matters and is repressing his people and Hamas. It is better for Netanyahu not to disturb the status quo.”

Yaron Ezrahi, an Israeli political scientist at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, concurs. He believes Netanyahu wants to wait things out, on the model employed towards the Golan Heights, seized by Israel from Syria in 1967.

“For years, Israel was under pressure to return the Golan to Syria, but since the collapse of Syria, no one talks that way,” he said. “Netanyahu hopes something similar can happen with the West Bank.”

But even without an invasion of the West Bank, Abbas’ situation is precarious. Klein believes the Palestinian president will try to cling on to power. “He fears that if he steps down or the PA collapses, Hamas will fill the void and be impossible to remove.”

Nonetheless, most analysts agree that Abbas – or even the PA – could become a casualty of current events.

In these circumstances, Israel would be forced to install a new Palestinian leader more to their liking, or create a different political arrangement.

That might involve the creation of mini-fiefdoms in the West Bank based on each city, says Klein. Mayors could then be recruited to keep order.
That, he adds, would thrust the ball back in the PLO’s court to recreate itself as a resistance movement.
“Whatever the outcome, it won’t solve Israel’s problems [in the] long term. The impulse among the Palestinians for national liberation will still be there.”

Palestinian youths killed in West Bank clashes

Israel and the Palestinians

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