Occupied Jerusalem- The intensity of tension and security escalation in the occupied Palestinian territories has reached an unprecedented level, which has prompted the Israeli security services to warn of the consequences of the outbreak of a third intifada if the state of turmoil it is witnessing is not contained. West Bank In light of the war on Gaza strip.
These warnings, conveyed by the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, Herzi Halevy, carried messages to the political level and the Israeli government headed by Benjamin Netanyahuthe necessity of taking measures to contain the state of unrest in the West Bank, due to the popular anger resulting from the economic blockade and the failure to allow Palestinians to work in Israel.
The Chief of Staff and senior officers of the Israeli army, on several different occasions in recent days, to the political level, the Prime Minister, ministers, and the War Council, issued a clear warning of a slippery slope in the West Bank, which may end in another front that Israel will have to deal with with great force. According to what was reported by Israeli Channel 12.
These warnings come in light of the daily military operations carried out by the Israeli army in various areas of the West Bank since the battle of “Al-Aqsa floodOn October 7, 2023, according to Channel 12’s political affairs correspondent, Yron Abraham, the warnings were summed up by saying, “The West Bank is on the verge of exploding due to economic difficulties.” “It may end in a third intifada.”
The political affairs correspondent stated that these warnings are shared by the army, all security services, and the General Security Agency, “Shin Bet,” and come against the backdrop of Netanyahu’s decision not to include the issue of allowing Palestinian workers from the West Bank to enter Israel for a vote by the Ministerial Council for Political and Security Affairs.The cabinet“And the Minister of Finance, Bezalel Smotrich, insisted on his position of refusing to transfer tax revenues (clearance funds) to the Palestinian Authority.
In a reading of the meanings and connotations regarding the warnings of the Israeli security services about the consequences of the escalating tension in the West Bank leading to a third intifada, the Israeli journalist Yoav Stern, who specializes in Arab and Palestinian affairs, explained that large areas in the West Bank have witnessed a gradual escalation since the war on Gaza, and therefore these warnings came to the level Politically, in order to seek to reduce the state of tension and turmoil.
Speaking to Al Jazeera Net, Stern stressed that these warnings are real, and do not come in the context of the estimates or hypotheses of the Israeli military establishment, which does not know how things might develop on the ground, as the Israeli army does not rule out the scenario of the security tension turning into a broad confrontation leading to the outbreak of a third intifada. .
Although the West Bank is witnessing a tense and tense atmosphere, armed confrontations and clashes, and almost daily military operations, Stern does not expect any event that would deviate from the context of events that have been prevailing for some time and lead to the ignition of an intifada. He attributed this to the presence of what he called “control factors.” The soul of both parties.
Stern believed that the Israeli side does not want escalation with the West Bank in light of the war, pointing out that there is no Israeli desire for a comprehensive confrontation with the Palestinians, despite the strengthening of Israeli convictions of the necessity of maintaining a state of alert and mobilizing reinforced army forces in the West Bank to confront armed Palestinian organizations and prevent them from carrying out attacks. On Israeli military sites or settlements.
Premonitions and warnings
According to the Israeli analyst, despite the escalation of security tension and unprecedented clashes and confrontations in various areas of the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority, along with many factions, is not interested in a comprehensive confrontation for fear that the fate of the West Bank will be like the Gaza Strip.
Stern does not rule out that if a third intifada breaks out, a scenario of complete and comprehensive destruction of the Palestinians will occur, and that the Israeli reaction will be completely different from that usual in the past, and that the reaction and operations of the Israeli army will lead to the displacement and killing of tens of thousands of Palestinians, which means that the price will be a comprehensive confrontation. What the Palestinians will pay in the West Bank will be more than the benefits and achievements that may be achieved, according to his opinion.
However, despite this, Stern says, “Such matters, estimates, and scenarios do not depend on rational analysis. Rather, they are merely an unexpected emotional reaction to a specific event, which could lead to the outbreak of an uprising or a comprehensive confrontation. Accordingly, these warnings came to the security establishment, which fears “An event that might lead to igniting the West Bank.”
In a reading of the warnings of the leaders of the security and military services against the consequences of the outbreak of a third armed intifada in the West Bank and the demands of the political leaders to take steps and measures to contain the state of turmoil, the researcher on Israeli affairs, Antoine Shalhat, explained that this reflects Israeli concerns about the possibility of a comprehensive confrontation in the West Bank in light of the war on Gaza.
Speaking to Al Jazeera Net, Shalhat believes that the security establishment is serious in its warnings of the consequences of the outbreak of an armed intifada in the West Bank, which has witnessed a state of turmoil and escalating security tension since the start of the Israeli war on Gaza, the genocide, the humanitarian catastrophe, and the number of martyrs.
The researcher on Israeli affairs explained that the West Bank has merged with Gaza, where it witnesses daily armed confrontations and clashes in various regions and camps and even in the Palestinian countryside, where the media does not shed enough light on the events in the West Bank because it is busy documenting what is happening in Gaza and on other fronts.
Despite this, Shalhat says, “We cannot ignore the fact that the West Bank is located on the crater of a volcano that is about to explode, in light of the expansion of Palestinian armed groups even before the war, as these new groups have exceeded in their presence even the activity of the traditional factions, and therefore Israel fights them daily through Clashes and confrontations.”
Escalate and confront
Regarding the seriousness of the security services’ warnings about the possibility of a third intifada, the researcher on Israeli affairs cited daily armed clashes, Israeli military operations, and the escalating security tension throughout the West Bank, after armed resistance was previously limited to Jenin, its camp, and confined areas in the northern West Bank.
Shalhat attributed these warnings about the outbreak of a comprehensive confrontation in the West Bank, which coincides with the war on Gaza, to the presence of a right-wing government in Israel, which is considered the most extreme from a religious and national standpoint, and is waging a war on the Palestinians in the West Bank by perpetuating apartheid and annexation by expanding the settlement project and displacing Palestinians in the countryside and the Jordan Valley. and confiscation of their lands.
In light of these field facts, occupation policies, and settler practices against the Palestinians, Shahlet says, “There has been a frenzied and brutal Israeli campaign on the West Bank since October 7. Hundreds of martyrs were killed by bullets from the occupation army and settlers, in addition to the arrest of about 6,000 Palestinians. Accordingly, we did not The security establishment’s warnings came out of the blue, and the facts on the ground may herald the eruption of the state of turmoil.”