New wave of Palestinian violence flares up

Palestinian rioting in Hebron

A renewed wave of violence has spread across Judea and Samaria in the last couple of weeks, actively aided and abetted by incitement from by Mahmoud Abbas himself.

The current wave began when four Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails began a hunger strike last week to protest their administrative detention, and Palestinian protestors started a violent riot when the prisoners were not released:

Several hundred demonstrators waving Fatah flags advanced toward the Bituniya checkpoint. Ofer Prison is located just beyond the checkpoint.

An Israeli journalist sustained light injuries to his head when Palestinian teens clashed with security forces at around noon, shortly before the march. It remains unclear whether the journalist was hit by a rock or by non-lethal riot dispersal means used by security forces. He was evacuated to a hospital. Later, another Israeli journalist was lightly hurt when a rock struck him. He was treated at the scene. A number of Palestinians were also injured.

Two of the hunger-striking prisoners, Samer Issawi and Ayman Sharawneh, are among 14 Palestinians who have been re-arrested by Israel since being released  in 2011 in exchange for Gilad Shalit, the IDF soldier who was abducted on the Gaza border by Hamas, the Islamist terrorist group that now rules the enclave.

Clashes between security forces and Palestinians demanding the release of the detainees take place almost daily. The most violent demonstration was held last Friday in Bituniya.

Matters escalated when a Palestinian prisoner in Megiddo jail died of an apparent heart attack. Of course there were immediate accusations that Israel tortured the prisoner to death. Israel agreed to perform an autopsy with a Palestinian representative and a member of the prisoner’s family present.  No prizes for guessing what happened next: The autopsy revealed that there were no signs that the prisoner had been tortured.

Jaradat’s body was dissected in the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in the presence of a Palestinian pathologist, several family members and a legal team from the Palestinian Authority’s Prisoner Affairs office.

According to the institute, the autopsy revealed no external physical injuries other than those suffered during resuscitation attempts and a small bruise on the right side of the chest.

The autopsy also did not find evidence of illness. “Two muscle bleedings were noted, one in the shoulder and one on the right side of the chest and on both elbows.

“Two broken ribs on the right side were seen, which could be the result of the resuscitation attempts. These preliminary findings can’t determine the cause of death,” the forensic institute said.

“At this stage, before the microscopic and toxicological tests have been finished, the cause of death can’t be related to the autopsy’s findings.”

The Palestinians, as is their wont when confronted with facts that do not fit in with their world-view, refused to accept the findings and accused the Israelis of torture anyway.

The Palestinian Minister for Prisoner Affairs Issa Karaka accused Israel of torturing Jaradat, causing his death. “Israel’s version regarding Jaradat’s death is fake and false,” he said.

Karaka demanded an independent probe be launched into Jaradat’s death, stressing that those responsible should be brought to justice.

In case you were wondering who Arafat Jaradat was, and why was this poor innocent man suffering in an Israeli jail, here is a short bio (via CifWatch) which explains all:

According to multiple sources, including even the BBC and Arab sites such as Ahram Online, Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, Jaradat was a member of Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade – the terror group affiliated with Fatah.

Haaretz, notorious for its anti-Israel stance despite the fact that it is an Israeli paper, poured fuel on the fire with its despicable slanted headlines which of course were jumped upon with glee by the Palestinians and their supporters around the world.

The added surge in violence that ensued was therefore no surprise. 3,000 Palestinian prisoners went on a one-day hunger strike in protest at Jaradat’s death, and a series of violent incidents occurred in the West Bank:

While forces on the ground are convinced this is not the mark of a third intifada, the chain of events may suggest otherwise. Saturday saw a Palestinian teen injured in clashes, a live bullet found in the body of another Palestinian, and the death in the Megiddo Prison of a Palestinian security prisoner. Meanwhile, countless protests took place across the West Bank.

[...]

On Friday, Palestinians protested in various West Bank towns following prayers. In Hebron, dozens rioted while hurling stones and Molotov cocktails at IDF and Border Guard forces.

[...]

At the Bituniyeh checkpoint, dozens burned tires and hurled stones at security forces. Clashes were also recorded in Nablus and Tulkarem.

[...]

In Jerusalem, Palestinians began to hurl stones near the Mughrabi Gate after Friday prayers. Security forces broke into the premises to restore order. Some Palestinians were lightly injured, mostly due to smoke inhalation.

Hamas, averse to being left out of the fun, have issued calls to increase attempts to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

As I noted at the beginning of this post, PA “President-for-Life” Mahmoud Abbas is fanning the flames of this potential new intifada:

There is no reason to doubt the findings of the autopsy on the body of Palestinian detainee Arafat Jaradat that was conducted at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute. A Palestinian pathologist was present during the autopsy. Although it is not clear what caused Jaradat’s death, there are no signs that he was tortured during his interrogation. However, this fact did not prevent the Palestinian Authority from announcing that Jaradat was tortured by the Israelis.

The Palestinian Authority’s message carried no medical weight, but it did have great diplomatic value. It sounded as if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had decided to take advantage of Jaradat’s tragic death to launch a diplomatic offensive. Abbas is allowed to do this, but by doing so he is pushing Ramallah away from its declared intention of cooperation with Israel. The Palestinian Authority is intentionally fanning the flames of controversy.

[...]

But even if both sides are currently interested in thwarting a new intifada, there is no doubt that a fundamental change has taken place. Palestinian strongman Jibril Rajoub went on Israeli Channel 2 on Sunday night to issue threats on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. When Channel 2 news anchor Yonit Levi suggested that Rajoub try to calm the situation, he did not abide.

It is reasonable to assume that Abbas does not want a new intifada to start. But he is apparently interested in ratcheting up the tension ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to Israel on March 20.

But if Abbas has chosen to jump on the back of a tiger, he could end up losing control. There are Palestinian Authority officials interested in renewing violence against Israel and they are backed by Hamas in the West Bank. Also, incidents in which there are many victims on both sides could prompt an escalation that leads to the outbreak of an intifada.

[...]

On the other hand, it is clear that even if Abbas wants to resume negotiations with Israel, the steps he has taken recently have pushed that goal farther away. An escalation of violence would shift the focus away from meaningful negotiations to the question of how to simply stop the violence. Both sides would emerge as losers.

Moderates on both sides have an interest in restoring quiet until the establishment of the next Israeli government, and Obama’s visit.

Official Israeli sources agree that the Palestinian Authority are stoking the violence in order to make political gains ahead of Obama’s visit:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s diplomatic envoy, Yitzhak Molcho, on Sunday contacted senior Palestinian Authority officials with an Israeli demand to curtail the growing violence and protests by Palestinian activists across the West Bank. According to officials in the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu has authorized the release and transfer of $100 million in PA taxes to bolster the PA.

Amos Gilad, director of policy and political-military affairs in the Defense Ministry on Monday accused the Palestinian Authority of fanning the flames of violence ahead of the planned March 20 visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to the region. Speaking on Army Radio, Gilad said, “The PA is walking a thin line: also inciting violence and also not wanting things to get out of control. The problem is that they’re aiming for controlled violence, but it can get out of control. They want to project strength ahead of the Obama visit, so they’re lighting a fire under the prisoner issue — which is a popular issue on the Palestinian street. “

Gilad warned the Palestinians that a third Intifada was not in their interests. “A major terror attack is not in their interest. They know that the damage they would incur would be devastating.”

Gilad also cautioned about talking of Palestinian “prisoners”: “We’re talking about terrorists, murderers, people who have killed Israelis.”

At this stage the usual suspects have entered the picture: The Egyptians have slammed Israeli policy on Palestinian prisoners (a sick joke when you consider what goes on in Egyptian jails); and the US wonders why we can’t all just get along, and urges restraint on both sides.

Meanwhile, earlier today, Hamas’s ally the Al-Aqsa Brigades again joined in the fight in order to show that they cannot be overshadowed by the PA, and shot a Grad missile into Ashkelon. Thankfully no one was hurt, but there was some damage.

Israel isn’t the one that needs to be urged to show restraint. Just look at what is going on all over the Middle East. We show altogether too much restraint.  These requests and demands should be addressed to the Palestinians.

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10 Responses to New wave of Palestinian violence flares up

  1. When will they (we) learn? Palestinian violence is their diplomacy. Anti-Semitism is their modus operandi and they can depend on world-wide support. Given these two well known elements of Middle East geo-political reality, Israel nevertheless, remains crises responsive rather than crises predictive and avoidance. Prisoner hunger strikes are predictable as cheap publicity stunts created at any given opportunity. Is there no forward thinking on how to avoid these charades and/or turn them into self-defeating, counter productive exercises in futility? E.g. place the actors openly in the public eye and have them attempt to explain and defend their stupidity and emptiness of their ideology against intelligent, sophisticated handlers who control the presentation. Do the same with captured juveniles who can speak of their having been indoctrinated by adult, manipulative cowards to confront armed adversaries. In other words, anticipate the launching of their “publicity missiles” and create an “iron dome” of publicity defense and even a “David’s Sling” to turn their publicity missiles back upon themselves. Analyze publicity elements. Identify the positive and negative items subject to control and manipulation, and start developing on-going programs to exploit the former and defeat the latter.

    • anneinpt says:

      Very well said Elliott.

      However, your suggestion to “place the actors openly in the public eye and have them attempt to explain and defend their stupidity and emptiness of their ideology” could very well rebound. They would simply use the platform to spout off their antisemitic ideology to the attentive ears of those who hate Israel.

      I would simply put the hunger strikers in total isolation away from the media, refuse them any contact with the outside world, and give them whatever medical treatment is necessary. If they refuse treatment, let them die. Why should we waste our precious resources on these terrorists? In any event whatever we do is twisted around to give the worst possible slant on our behaviour, so might as well at least benefit.

      I agree though that it might work with captured juveniles, although then the hostile media could say that they were brainwashed or coerced into recanting their ideology.

      Keep in mind that whatever Israel does is always automatically uncompromisingly evil, with no benefit of the doubt given or possibility of redemption.

      • As a former prosecutor, cross examination of someone factually unable to defend their position – is always a welcomed opportunity by the well informed examiner. Moreover, a very minimal interview would disclose these adversaries are not only factually ignorant, they are patently stupid. A perfect example of an ignorant, stupid person being interviewed is Chuck Hagel. What is even more beneficial is engaging the examination under different forums, some live and some not live, some where the dummy knows of the interview is being broadcasted, some where it is not known and in every instance, intelligenty controlled. These activities would be tested before they are used and perfected so that the margin of error is reduced to a minimum. Am I the only person that’s thought of this?

  2. reality says:

    I have a question here. Its always understood that Arabs/Palestinians/Egyptians/whatever will always resort to violence & we the terrible apartheid state have to restrain ourselves. Why? Why are Arabs allowed to be volatile & violent & no one else is & we all have to take it in our stride? Then when sometimes as we’ve seen recently that Israelis get fed up with the situation & do violent “price tag” things the entire world explodes with condemnations. Such hypocrisy! Perhaps its time for us Israelis also to have a go at violence& retaliate properly, with sometimes live fire to these 3rd intifada “incidents” Perhaps that will stop things before they get totally out of hand

    • anneinpt says:

      As you say, it is complete hypocrisy. It’s part of what Nathan Sharansky calls the 3D test of antisemitism. One of the D’s is Double Standards, which is what this hypocrisy amounts to. i.e. the reason behind this all is our good old “friend”, classic antisemitism.

      I don’t think violent retaliation of our own, with no reason or at random, will help matters. Just remember – whatever we do will always have the worst possible light shone on it, no matter our reasoning. We don’t need to descend to their level. On the other hand we don’t need to be holier than the Pope, and we ought to take proper revenge and/or defence measures in as harsh a manner as is necessary to ensure our safety. We should stop with all this treating the Palestinians with kid gloves. It gets us nowhere security-wise or diplomatically.

      • cba says:

        “Just remember – whatever we do will always have the worst possible light shone on it, no matter our reasoning.”

        So true.

        Dershowitz puts it very well in this article http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/02/26/pink-anti-semitism-is-no-different-from-brown-anti-semitism/:

        The core characteristic of anti-Semitism is the assertion that everything the Jews do is wrong, and everything that is wrong is done by the Jews. For the anti-Semite every rich Jew is exploitive, every poor Jew a burden on society. For the anti-Semite, both capitalism and communism are Jewish plots. For the anti-Semite, Jews are both too docile, allowing themselves to be led to the slaughter like sheep, and too militant, having won too many wars against the Arabs. For the anti-Semite, Jews are too liberal and too conservative, too artsy and too bourgeois, too stingy and too charitable, too insular and too cosmopolitan, too moralistic and too conniving.

        To the anti-Semite, every depression, war, social problem, plague must have been the fault of the Jews. Whenever the Jews appear to be doing something good – giving charity, helping the less fortunate, curing the sick—there must be a malevolent motive, a hidden agenda, a conspiratorial explanation beneath the surface of the benevolent act.

        Now the very twisted illogic that has characterized classic anti-Semitism is being directed at the Jewish state, which for the anti-Semite has become “the Jew” among nations. When Israel sent help to Tsunami and hurricane victims, the Jewish state was accused of merely trying to garner positive publicity calculated to offset its mistreatment of Palestinians. When Israeli medical teams save the lives of Palestinian children, they must be up to no good. When it was disclosed that the Israeli Army has the lowest rate of rape against enemy civilians, radical anti-Zionists argued that this was because Israeli soldiers were so racist that they did not find Palestinian women attractive enough to rape! Nothing the Jew or the Jew among nations does can be praised, because its purpose is always to “manipulate,” to “conceal,” to “divert attention away from” or to “distort” the evil that inheres in all Jewish actions and inactions.

  3. roxymuzak says:

    Interesting to read about Palestinian terrorists going on hunger strike. A few years back the World Health Organisation, WHO, “talkin’ bout our generation”, released an obesity league table and Gazan women were the 3rd fattest – maybe they’re bulimic but they just forget to throw up? – in the world. The bulging waistlines weren’t confined to the women, as the fat jihadist bastard index featured Gazan men in 7th position. Maybe they should all go on hunger strike for a few months. Needless to say, the WHO report was supressed – didn’t fit in with the left’s narrative of starving Palestinians.

    • reality says:

      ha ah :)

    • anneinpt says:

      Of course you’re right. On the other hand they could argue that hunger strikes are not connected to levels of hunger (or lack of it) in their society.

      Obviously this is all political theatre. I’m sure they prefer Israeli jail to the prisons of their brothers in Egypt, Syria, Jordan etc. But all’s fair in the fight to delegitimize and demonise Israel.

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