“The public is comparing the diplomatic, peaceful negotiation approach of [Abbas] that has been actually taking us from bad to worse … with the violent approach of Hamas and Gaza, and they seem to be more attracted to the Gaza model rather than the West Bank model,” says Ghassan Khatib, former PA spokesman and founder of the Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre, which conducted the recent poll showing an uptick in Palestinian support for military operations. (The poll was published Dec. 20 and can be found here.)
“This is a bigger fluctuation than anything we saw in the last 10 years,” Mr. Khatib says, though he adds that it’s too soon to tell whether it’s just a temporary spike or something more enduring.
Over the weekend, an Israeli commander in the West Bank reportedly told reserve troops that a third intifada is already under way.
Armed, masked men at Fatah rally
This week, undercover Israeli operations in Jenin and Tamoun sparked demonstrations in both places, injuring dozens of Palestinians. In addition, masked, armed men participated in a Fatah Day rally in Bethlehem’s Dheisheh refugee camp – something that hasn’t been seen in the West Bank for years. Their presence was reported by the Israeli news outlet YnetNews, which posted a video. Nasser al-Laham, editor of the Bethlehem-based Palestinian news agency Maan, confirmed the reports for the Monitor.