Sign of new Intifada? Majority of Palestinians support knife attacks

Ma’an News Agency | – –

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The majority of Palestinians support the recent string stabbing attacks against Israelis, a poll released Monday found.

The poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Research (PCPR), found that 67 percent of Palestinians support the use of knife attacks in the current confrontations with Israel, while 31 percent oppose the use of knife attacks.

During the past two-and-a-half months, 119 Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli military and civilians, many of which were killed after alleged, attempted or actual attacks against Israelis, and 19 Israelis have been killed by Palestinian attackers.

According to PCPR’s poll, 37 percent of Palestinians believe that the current upheaval will turn into a full-on armed Initifada, with only 10 percent believing that the confrontations will gradually dissipated.

The recent wave of violence launched following a build-up of tensions over the summer.

At the end of July, Israeli settlers set a Palestinian home ablaze in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, killing three out of four family members in the home.

The Dawabsha family’s 18-month-old infant was burned alive inside the home, while the mother and father succumbed to their wounds weeks later while being treated at Israeli hospitals. The family’s 4-year-old son is the only remaining survivor of the attack.

Soon after, Palestinians began accusing Israeli authorities of attempting to shift the status quo around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam, which is venerated by Jews as the Temple Mount.

The Israeli government denied the allegations, but continued to impose extra restrictions on Palestinian worshippers attempting to visit the site while allowing right-wing Jews to tour the area.

By the end of September tensions were running high, and as Palestinians held protests against changes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the blame for the restrictions was laid on right-wing settler groups who were vocally encouraging Israelis to flock to the compound.

Some of the more extreme groups have continued to call for the demolition of the mosque and the construction of the Temple Mount on the site.

On Oct. 1 tensions snapped when a Palestinian shot and killed two Israeli settlers in a drive-by shooting not far from where the Dawabsha family was murdered. Reprisal attacks began immediately, with Israel’s extremist settlers attacking Palestinian villages for the next several days.

On Oct. 3, a Palestinian stabbed and killed two Israelis and injured two more in an attack outside East Jerusalem’s Old City. The Palestinian attacker was shot dead at the scene.

Multiple stabbing attacks have since been reported on a weekly basis, with Israeli forces adopting what Amnesty International has dubbed a policy of “extrajudicial” killing against the Palestinian population.

In addition, Israeli leaders have called for and implemented various forms of collective punishment initiatives in an attempt to deter violence and enhance security, including neighborhood closures, curfews, flying checkpoints and punitive home demolitions on the families of accused attackers.

While both the Israeli government and Palestinian Authority has called for calm, the violence had continued at a steady pace well into December.

Via Ma’an News Agency

Related video added by Juan Cole:

RT: “IDF soldiers trolling Palestinian news reporter’s live broadcast”

3 Responses

  1. What do the Palestinians have to lose?

    Over time, basic human behavior is fairly predictable. One of the clear lessons of history is when a group is brutally oppressed for an extended period of time, they can reasonable be expected to seek revenge with whatever method is available.

    Israel has painted itself into a corner with no options except painful, humiliating retreat. Sure, Israel can use even more brutal force, but based on thousands of years of human behavior, such a response will just make things worse for Israelis, NOT BETTER.

    Israel has two BIG problems:

    – Israelis still do not understand that the settlers are a massive problem, but even if they did, there is no longer any way to solve the settler problem because any attempt to roll back the settler situation would lead to massive, bloody civil war in Israel.

    – The non-Jews living west of the Jordan river are NOT going anywhere even though a significant number of Israelis think they can simply “round up the usual suspects” and ship the problem off to some other place on earth. Any attempt to “round up the usual suspects” (millions of humans) will be met with violent resistance and could lead to massive war that Israel would lose. But even if Israel could “round up the usual suspects,” where could they be sent? There is no country on earth that will accept Israeli’s “rejects” and if Israel tired to just ship them, the nations that Israel would try to send them to would react violently against Israel.

    Basically, Israel has created a hopeless, violent situation that hey have no ability to fix, let alone calm down.

    In an “ideal” world, Israel would simply force the settlers out of the West Bank, create large areas of contiguous land for the non-Jews and try to manage them with the minimum of oppression so the non-Jews feel that they may have a future.

    BUT that would be political suicide in Israel .

    So Israelis can just look forward to more violence along with lots of worthless verbiage from Israeli politicians.

    2016 is probably going to be an ugly year for Israelis and the number of Israelis that leave versus those that arrive could grow dramatically (decreasing the overall Jewish population in Israel) – why stay in violent combat zone when Jews can live and thrive in so much of the world these days?

    • Unduly pessimistic appraisal. Domestic forces within Israel are rallying against Netanyahu, who has done dismally in office. I think the chances of a big political shift in 2016 are good. Also, the Palestinian public’s support for the knife attacks is entirely counter productive. If there’s one lesson we all now know it’s that Palestinians lose – and lose BIG – whenever they turn to violence to press their case.

    • Are you saying that Palestinians are so desperate over settlements,that it’s ok to give up ones life or long imprisiment ,just to knife some Israeli ?

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