Tony Greenstein | 06 October 2015 | Post Views:

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

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
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ordered his security chiefs to do their
utmost to urgently quell surging West Bank protests Saturday night.
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
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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

said Sunday that Israel is “waging a fight to the death against Palestinian
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.
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
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

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

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

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

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

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

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
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

Palestinian youths killed in West Bank clashes

Israel and the Palestinians

A Palestinian boy has been killed by Israeli
forces near Bethlehem, Palestinian medics say, amid an upsurge in violence in the
occupied West Bank.

The 13-year-old was reportedly shot in the chest during clashes at the
Jewish shrine of Rachel’s Tomb.

Earlier, an 18-year-old Palestinian man was killed at a protest in Tulkarm.

Separately, Israeli security forces said on Monday they had captured five
alleged Hamas militants suspected of killing a Jewish couple last week.

The alleged militants were arrested on Friday, the day after the couple were
killed in front of their children in the West Bank, Israeli security agency
Shin Bet said.

A doctor at a hospital in Beit Jala said the 13-year-old killed near
Bethlehem on Monday had been identified as Abdul Rahman Shadi, according to the
Associated Press.

An Israeli military official said 15 protesters threw rocks at security
forces guarding Rachel’s Tomb, who “responded by riot dispersal

A violent week

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images

  • Thursday: Jewish couple killed in front of their young children in the
    West Bank
  • Saturday: Palestinian man kills two Israelis and wounds several others in
    Jerusalem before being shot by police
  • Sunday: Palestinian man, 18, killed at a protest in West Bank after
    Israel bars Palestinian residents of Jerusalem from entering the Old City
    for two days
  • Monday: Israeli security forces kill Palestinian boy, 13, near
    Bethlehem after protesters allegedly throw rocks

The 18-year-old killed in Tulkarm, named by Palestinian media as Hudhayfa
Salman, was shot in the chest during clashes with Israeli soldiers at a
checkpoint on Sunday night.

The Israeli military said people taking part in a rally organised by the
militant Islamist movement Hamas threw firebombs and rocks at its troops, and
rolled burning tyres. The troops responded by firing live ammunition at three
men, hitting one of them, it added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting of
his security chiefs on Sunday afternoon to discuss ways to tackle the violence.

In a television address on Monday, Mr Netanyahu said he would use an
“iron fist” against attackers and “warned there are no limits on
the activities of the security forces”.

He had earlier said measures would include “fast-tracking the razing of
terrorists’ homes”,
broader use of detention without trial for suspects,
increased security in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and banning those who incite
violence from Jerusalem’s Old City.

Violence has increased in recent weeks, with tensions rising over the
al-Aqsa mosque and confrontations between Israeli security forces and
Palestinian youths, says the BBC’s Yolande Knell in Jerusalem.

The mosque is built in a compound in East Jerusalem known to Muslims as the
Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and to Jews as Temple Mount. The area is
revered by both faiths.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Sunday of a “dangerous slide
toward escalation
“. He said he was “deeply troubled” by
statements from Palestinian militants, including Hamas, praising the deadly
attacks on Israelis.

Islamic Jihad has said one of its members was responsible for the fatal
stabbing in Jerusalem on Saturday of Israelis Aharon Benitah and Rabbi Nehemia

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