Is a Third Palestinian Intifada Possible?

Prof. As’ad Abdul Rahman

The Palestinian official strategy based on negotiations with Israel as the only means to establish an independent Palestinian State seems to have utterly failed and a new strategy is urgently needed. Several reasons stand behind the failure of negotiations, the first is that Israel now feels that it has the upper hand in the Middle East and its national security is “assured” in view of the upheavals sweeping many Arab countries around it with the “urgency” of inter-Arab enmities exceeding by far their enmity against Israel in their present conflicts. This situation has led Israel to believe that it no longer needs peace where it has to give up the loot stolen from the Palestinian people.

 A second reason is that the international community led by the United States of America lacks the ability and the will to exert any pressure on Israel to stop its daily violation of international law and human decency principles.

Thirdly, the complete opposition by the PLO to employ violent means (whether military or political) against the Israeli colonial/apartheid measures being imposed upon the occupied Palestinian people in the West Bank coupled with Hamas’ decision to impose a ban on rocket attacks on Israeli targets. Both acts have given Israel “immunity” from accountability for its hideous and criminal deeds perpetrated on daily basis against the Palestinians.

As a result of all the above, in addition, of course, to its military might and USA support, Israel has attained a false sense of security which infected the leadership with the deadly virus of infallible egotism and invincibility to continue its Judaization of all historical Arab Palestine. Such policy is bound eventually to usher in the possible demise of Israel as a politically recognized state, according to many Middle East experts, with Jews among them.

When a possible Palestinian ‘third intifada’ is mentioned, many assume it will be similar to the two previous ones. Such a false assumption is far from the actual facts newly created and are now in play in the Middle East. The wrath of the so-called Arab Spring coinciding with the colonial/apartheid Israeli measures in Palestine may have paradoxically combined, possibly creating the biggest upheaval ever witnessed in the region and not a mere intifada as in the past years. Several western experts are certain that, in such an upheaval, destructive conventional and “disruptive unconventional” weapons will be deployed. Some observers also believe that the new reconciliation accord between Fatah and Hamas may (if it really works out) make this ‘upheaval’ a reality sooner than later. Indeed, a majority of the Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims are waiting to see whether Fatah and Hamas consider this accord as a tactical move to be renounced later, or a vital strategic means to forge a Palestinian unity to confront the Judaization of historical Palestine. A common belief among the majority of Palestinians is that Fatah was forced to be part of this accord because it failed to bring about the promised Palestinian state and needed something positive to offer to the Palestinian public instead. Similarly, Hamas is in a bind and needs a ‘national unity’ government to help it resolve its conflict with Egypt and the rest of Arab states that consider it as an extension of the international Muslim Brotherhood Movement which has been outlawed in several important Arab Countries. According to a very high official Egyptian source: “Hamas has to transform itself into an Arab Palestinian national liberation movement, exactly like the PLO, dedicated to establish a civil/non-religious Palestinian state before it is recognized by all who oppose the politicization of religions as Israel did in its religious claim of all historical Palestine.”

The accord has led to the formation of a Palestinian unity government, but Israel has already taken measures to punish the P.L.O. Chairman President Mahmoud Abbas as well as the Palestinian Authority (PA) for forging the reconciliation agreement and the subsequent government.  Such measures (especially those taken in late June and early July after the abduction and the killing of the three young Israeli settlers/ colonizers) aim to frighten the PA from gaining memberships in various UN organs which threatens the legal status of Israel as a state. If these measures continue, the possibility of a demise of the Palestinian Authority would become a reality. Such development may lead to a wide unrest in the West Bank which will be met with an iron hand by the Israeli military occupation forces leading consequently to more deterioration and violence.

Despite the recurring assurances by the Palestinian president to the US administration (and all other Western governments in general) that the new unity government will maintain the recognition of Israel, yet Prime Minister Netanyahu is adamant on boycotting it. It’s the oldest trick in the book he said, in which “a shady organization (Hamas) put forward smooth-talking front men in suits”. In other words, Israel insists on viewing the new government as one with “terrorists wishing the demise of Israel”

So, is the coming Palestinian upheaval a possibility or an imminent action? Let’s wait and be prepared because many observers (including Israeli known writers) expect that the extremist and violent Israeli measures may make it a certain development.