The Palestinian Flare-up: Being Crushed or Gaining Momentum?

Prof. As’ad Abdul Rahman

There is no doubt that a sense of utter hopelessness among the Palestinian youth of ever attaining a political resolution that could end the Zionist colonial occupation is the driving force behind the  uprising in the West Bank, especially in Jerusalem and Hebron. Living under military occupation since 1967 without any civil rights or hope of ever building an independent Palestinian state and without any decent future to look for, all have driven Palestinian youth to choose death rather than a life with honor and dignity, being daily crushed by a brutal military occupation.

Divisions among the various Palestinian groups and the demise of prospects for a negotiated political settlement that could achieve the two-state solution clearly project a bleak picture pointing to a huge catastrophe in the making which would leave nothing to mend and restore. Such a reality has left Palestinian youth no choice, but to take matters into their own hands to fight the occupation as “Lone Wolves” using all means available to fend themselves off. A person denied the dignity of civil rights and a decent future can never be stopped if willing to die to attain them, regardless of any brutal measures as those implemented by Israel in Palestine which in effect would further inflame the uprising.

The latest attack in Tel Aviv on 8 June 2016 has shocked Israel but the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tended to issue statements devoid of realities ignoring the cause of such violence which is the colonial occupation that is crushing the hopes of the Palestinian population of all ages and their political associations. Freezing entry permits of 83 thousand Palestinian workers with jobs inside the 1948 territories during the month of Ramadan is a worthless policy called collective punishment that is bound to further heighten Palestinian anger and hatred to levels that would usher in further attacks, possibly turning more lethal in the future. Such unwise measures prompted the former “Defense Minister” of Israel Amir Peretz to blame Prime Minister, declaring that “after ten years of Netanyahu’s rule, Palestinian operations have moved their violence to the very heart of Tel Aviv”.

The so-called Palestinian flare-up (Habba) broke out last October with one individual, a Palestinian student, who stabbed two colonial Zionist settlers in the heart of Jerusalem, killing them instantly. Frustrated and hopeless youth rushed to emulate him and the dam that held back Palestinian anger and extreme frustration burst without any expectation to stop its deluge. The real fear in Israel now is that this Tel Aviv operation be taken as an example to be copied by Palestinian “Lone Wolves” using unconventional methods to create extreme havoc in the heart of Tel Aviv, the most vital economic and highly populated center in the Zionist state.

Israeli political analyst Nahum Barnea wrote in Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper saying “the Tel Aviv operation is a very hard strike that should never happened, but it did, nevertheless. It should remind us again that rumors asserting the end of the Palestinian flare-up are premature and the weapon of choice in this case is a primitive gun that replaced the knife and youth with formal suits and ties have replaced students with school uniforms and anyone willing to die can manage to reach Tel Aviv”. Amos Harel wrote in Haaretz that “the executors of the operation used a primitive gun called Karla because modern guns with their high rice are beyond the financial means of individuals who decided to act on their own”. He said the operation was very well planned noting that it included a third party to transport them unknowingly to the target in Tel Aviv.  He said “wearing suits to blend with people having dinner in an upscale restaurant made it more deadly”.

Despite the variables in the numbers of resistance operations, embers of the uprising fire are still glowing ready to flare up high to burn the hurting the occupiers. According to a Palestinian recent poll that 65% of all who were surveyed supported the operation that targeted a bus in Jerusalem last April. The poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) revealed that “54% support the return to arms to end the Israeli occupation in view of the demise of peace negotiations and 56% support popular non-violent uprising as first alternative to fill the vacuum in the meantime”.

The collective punishment imposed upon the Palestinians by Israel every operation can only further ignite the fire of the uprising. It is the very fact that prompted the leftist Mayor of Tel Aviv to admit that Israelis as a state, are “the only ones in the world with another people living among us under our occupation, denying them any civil rights and we are 49 years into occupation that I was a participant in and I fully recognize the reality of occupation”. His opinion and others were echoed in an editorial on Haaretz under a broad headline saying “liberating Palestinians from occupation is the only way to stop terrorism”. The article indicated that “collective punishment will not save a single Israeli life, but on the contrary will increase Palestinian hate. Verbal abuse against Palestinians by Netanyahu and Lieberman and others will not dissuade Palestinian youth from acting against the occupation”. It conceded that “the Palestinian people through their youth acting on their own, have decided to fight the occupation like other peoples in history who revolted against their occupiers”.