JERUSALEM – The Palestinian Authority has decided to support and encourage a “low-level” popular uprising in the strategic West Bank, according to Palestinian and Jordanian intelligence sources.
The decision comes at a time of increased international pressure, including from the Obama administration, for Israeli-Palestinian talks aimed at an eventual Israeli withdrawal from most of the West Bank. The determination also comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has been enforcing a 10-month freeze on Jewish West Bank construction in line with U.S. demands.
The Palestinian and Jordanian sources told WND the decision empowers local leaders of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization to lead what would be viewed as a “popular struggle” of Palestinians protesting as well as throwing stones, rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers and Jewish residents of the West Bank.
The “struggle” would be concentrated against Israeli West Bank communities, anti-terror checkpoints and an Israeli security fence that snakes alongside the West Bank.
According to the Palestinian and Jordanian sources, a PA committee has been studying how to best support and finance the “popular struggle.” The sources said that for now the PA has decided against “higher-level” terrorist attacks, such as roadside shootings or suicide bombings.
Just yesterday, a young Israeli woman was moderately wounded when Palestinians hurled a firebomb at the bus in which she was riding south of the West Bank biblical city of Hebron.
Also yesterday, some 20 Palestinian demonstrators clashed with Israel Defense Forces soldiers stationed in Hebron, with one soldier lightly wounded after a Palestinian protester bit him.
Last week, Meir Hai, a 40-year-old West Bank Jewish teacher and father of seven, was murdered in a shooting attack on a road near his home, in an area where Israel had recently lifted a roadblock restricting Palestinian movement.
According to sources inside the PA speaking to WND, the Palestinian Authority was against the shooting of Hai, which they said was financed by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.
Indeed, according to Israeli security officials speaking to WND, Israel has specific information that Kais Obeid, a Hezbollah militant in Lebanon, directed and financed Hai’s murder. Obeid was also responsible for the 2000 kidnapping of Israeli businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum, who was released by Hezbollah in a 2004 prisoner exchange. Obeid is an Israeli Arab who crossed the border into Lebanon and joined with Hezbollah in the 1990s.
Over the weekend, an Israeli raid killed three Fatah terrorists that Israel says were responsible for Hai’s murder and were, according to Israeli sources speaking to WND, directed by Obeid.