Monday, February 27, 2012

Israeli report says West Bank Palestinians may turn to violence, but 3rd intifada is ‘unlikely’ this year English

Third Palestinian intifada was “unlikely” this year, but the Palestinians will instead seek diplomatic isolation of the Jewish state. (Reuters)
Third Palestinian intifada was “unlikely” this year, but the Palestinians will instead seek diplomatic isolation of the Jewish state. (Reuters)
Instability in the Middle East region, following the revolutions that swept several countries within the Arab Spring, as well as the stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace process, are liable push to the Palestinians in the West Bank to turn violent towards the Jewish state, Israel’s Haaretz said in a report published on Monday.

The report, citing the annual intelligence assessment of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, also warned against a possible military operation in Gaza and said that it might generate a severe response from Egypt.

The report said that a third Palestinian intifada was “unlikely” this year, but the Palestinians will instead seek diplomatic isolation of the Jewish state.

“This report, which is more than 100 pages long, judges that an explosion of generalized violence in the form of a third intifada is unlikely,” said an official, who described the report to AFP on condition of anonymity.
The report, he said, is produced by the ministry’s intelligence service and was recently given to the government.

“The editors of this document were charged with a round-up of the past year and envisaging different scenarios for the current year,” he said.

“For the Palestinians, they judged that they will continue to seize all opportunities to isolate Israel on the international stage,” he added, referring in particular to Palestinian efforts to obtain full United Nations membership.

“There is little chance that negotiations will resume to the extent that the Arab regimes do not support dialogue with Israel,” he said.

“The document also states that the Palestinians have no negotiations plan or proposed political settlement -- their sole goal is to put pressure on Israel.”

The report covers both internal Palestinian politics and regional changes in the wake of the Arab Spring, according to the source and the Haaretz report.

It judges the reconciliation between the Fatah movement led by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Islamist group Hamas, and their attempts to form an interim government of independents, as “little more than a facade,” he said.

“Hamas will never let the Palestinian Authority set foot in Gaza again and the Palestinian Authority has no intention of making a place for Hamas in the West Bank.”

According to Haaretz, the report also warns that the rise of a new government in post-revolution Egypt could affect future Israeli offensives.

The report also noted that last year’s attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo indicated that the Egyptian “street” has succeeded in forcing its opinions on the military leadership.

Egypt’s ruling army is aware of the benefits of the peace agreement, but “there are some elements that are dissatisfied with parts of the agreement,” the report said.

“Incidents deemed provocative, such as a military operation in Gaza or in the Sinai, will likely lead to a tougher, sharper response than in the past,” the newspaper quoted the report as saying.

And on Iran, the document reportedly warned that Tehran will seek to continue with its nuclear program, which Israel fears masks a weapons drive, despite international sanctions, paying “prices it perceives as tolerable.”

Iran sees its subversive behavior and support for terror “as an important tool in solidifying its regional position and as a way to weaken its rivals, including Israel and the United States, and to settle accounts with them,” the report said.

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