The Palestinian Authority is not planning a new intifada, but Israeli
“provocations” and the ongoing stalemate in the peace process could trigger
widespread protests in the Palestinian territories, a senior PA official in
Ramallah said Wednesday.
The official’s comments came in response to a
Haaretz report earlier this week to the effect that the Palestinians could
launch a third intifada during 2012.
Citing an intelligence assessment by
the Foreign Ministry, the report said that the stalled peace process and
instability in the Middle East are liable to push the Palestinians in the West
Bank to turn increasingly violent against Israel.
The Israeli government
was “obviously interested in seeing the Palestinians erupt into violence so that
it could use that as an excuse to avoid peace talks and step up military
aggression against our people,” the PA official told The Jerusalem
“If there is going to be another intifada, it will be because of
Israel’s practices on the ground, including invasions, arrests, killings and
settlement expansion,” the official added.
The PA leadership does not
support violence and continues to believe in peaceful means as a way of
achieving Palestinian rights, the official told the Post.
Palestinians believe in popular resistance against the occupation,” he said.
“President Mahmoud Abbas has made it clear that there will be no return to
suicide bombings and other forms of violence because this is not in the interest
of our people.”
Hussein Sheikh, head of the PA’s General Authority for
Civil Affairs, denied Wednesday that the PA has decided to halt security
coordination with Israel. However, he said that “all options remained open,” but
did not elaborate.
Sheikh said that the Palestinians would study their
next steps after Abbas returns home from his current visit to Turkey. He said
that the PA leadership would consider resuming its efforts to unilaterally
achieve UN recognition of a Palestinian state.
parties have been exerting pressure on the Palestinians to return to the
negotiating table with Israel unconditionally, Sheikh said.
The PA, he
added, will not resume peace talks unless the Israeli government freezes
construction in the settlements and accepts the pre- 1967 lines as the basis for
a two-state solution.