‘This is a third intifada,’ Palestinians say amid growing terror

Sources tell Israel Hayom that economic gestures will not help stem the tide of Arab violence in Judea and Samaria.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The growing violence in Judea and Samaria is a sign that a third major escalation has begun, according to Palestinian sources speaking to Israel Hayom Monday.

“This is a third intifada,” one source said. “This is not the end. This is the beginning of the new stage in the ongoing battle in the West Bank.”

The recent uptick in terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, as well as the active resistance with hot weapons to IDF arrest raids in terrorist hotbeds such as Jenin, is a conscious decision on the part of Palestinian groups and individuals, they say.

“There is competition between the organizations,” a Gaza source told the Hebrew daily. “Hamas is under pressure after the last round in the Gaza Strip. Gaza is quiet now, and it has reasons to maintain the calm at this stage…. [But] in compensation, the organization wants to preserve its prestige and presence in the West Bank.”

Hamas came under criticism from certain Palestinian quarters for staying out of last month’s weekend battle between the IDF and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a direct Iranian proxy that threatens the ruling terror group’s chokehold on the coastal enclave.

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After every terrorist attack, such as the one Sunday on a bus full of soldiers in the Jordan Valley, Hamas praises the perpetrators and incites more violence specifically on the part of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, while not necessarily taking direct responsibility for the crime.

“The resistance in the West Bank can overcome all the obstacles imposed by the occupation, and all its measures, including assassinations and arrests, will not stop the revolutionary tide of the West Bank. Resistance will continue everywhere,” Hamas stated Sunday.

The sources claimed that these ideas are catching hold, because the Palestinians “can’t go on like this.” On an existential level, “even a person who has a job and earns money, returns home at the end of the day and searches for meaning in his life, he asks himself…’What are we doing in this life and what kind of future will we have?’”

This question cannot be solved with “economic gestures,” they said. Even having a “political horizon” is not necessarily a game-changer.

“These people think, why all the sacrifice of the youths and armed men who have been arrested and killed? We need to continue their path and show that they did not die and sacrifice their lives for nothing. In the end, there is also a Palestinian struggle.”

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Their conclusion is: “What happened in the [Jordan] Valley will invite more attacks, this is not the end. What’s happening on the ground is the beginning of the new phase in the ongoing campaign in the West Bank. A few months ago, the attacks were inside Israel. Now the mess is inside the West Bank and is spreading inside it.”

Some Palestinians say that the increasing attacks are also a sign of the growing weakness of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which they say “has no control” over various armed groups’ gradual takeover of what is supposed to be their territory. Others accuse the PA of “collaboration,” saying that whenever arrest raids take place, PA security officers disappear from the scene, which points to collusion with the Israeli authorities.