After Jenin, a third Palestinian uprising is inevitable? | News about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Israeli military attacks on the occupied West Bank have become common over the past year, with at least 200 Palestinians – combatants and civilians – killed as a result.

Still, Thursday’s raid in Jenin, when dozens of Israeli special forces attacked a house where suspected fighters were staying, leading to several hours of intense fighting, was more reminiscent of the scenes last seen in the city in 2002, during the second Palestinian intifada. or uprising.

Then, as now, Jenin was the center of Palestinian armed factions fighting the Israeli occupation.

The battle for Jenin in 2002 took place over a week and killed at least 52 Palestinians, many of them civilians, as well as 23 Israeli soldiers.

Since the end of the second Intifada in 2005, Israel has gradually adopted a policy of treating the occupation of the Palestinians, which has been ongoing since 1967 and is illegal under international law, as a security problem rather than a political one.

Walls have been erected around the West Bank and Israelis have become relatively safe from attack, while the army deals with Palestinians when necessary.

The man who has overseen much of that policy is the man who has just returned as Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, Netanyahu believes his strategy has worked, pointing to normalization deals signed with several Arab states since 2020, including the United Arab Emirates and Morocco.

“In the previous decade, our political rivals warned us that if we did not make extraordinary concessions to the Palestinians, we would get a diplomatic tsunami that would very quickly lead to a terrible economic tsunami,” Netanyahu said at a news conference on Wednesday. “In practice, the complete opposite happened. Our policies have led Israel to four historic peace agreements with Arab countries, as well as an unprecedented diplomatic boom and economic prosperity.”

Netanyahu is right. Israel faced little international opposition, even as it moved increasingly to the far right and tightened its grip on Palestinian life.

He also believed in his ability to control the situation in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Palestinian generational divide

But Netanyahu was dealing with an older Palestinian generation, and many young Palestinians are increasingly frustrated and determined to fight back.

This is what has led to the emergence of several armed groups in the West Bank over the past year, which are allegedly not under the direct control of traditional Palestinian factions, such as Fatah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or the increasingly unpopular Palestinian Authority.

The members of these new groups – perhaps the most famous of which is the Nablus-based Lions’ Den – are young.

Many of them are affiliated with traditional factions but have decided to go their own way and fight with the Israelis.

It was one of the reasons for the increase in Palestinian attacks on Israelis in the first half of 2022, as well as increased attacks on the West Bank, part of what Israel calls “Break the Wave”.

These new groups speak to a broader problem – the growing irrelevance of the older politicians who have dominated Palestinian political life for decades.

This includes the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, who at 87 has been ill in recent years, is unpopular and has no natural successor.

This lack of leadership and the emergence of new independent groups means that it is more difficult for foreign countries to intervene and calm things down, especially if the Israeli government continues its harsh policies towards the Palestinians.

The aim of the new armed groups is not to calm things down, but to end the occupation.

As far-right groups gained strength in the Israeli government, the occupation appeared even more entrenched.

The number of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, already home to 500,000 people, is growing, and the Israeli government intends to “legalize” settler settlements that were even considered illegal under Israeli law.

The Israelis are also holding thousands of Palestinians as prisoners, approximately 800 of them without trial.

Aggravating events such as the raid in Jenin brought the situation to a precipice.

Any number of incidents could trigger a third uprising: clashes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem; another Israeli war against Gaza; the displacement of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank or; a deadly Israeli attack on a Palestinian refugee camp.

Similar events were part of the first and second Intifadas and, after such a deadly year, it may become apparent that the third has already begun.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *