Threat of another intifada looms in the West Bank

Army fears uprising amid settler terrorism

24 March, 19:58

    (by Aldo Baquis) (ANSAmed) - TEL AVIV, MARCH 24 - After years of relative calm, risks are growing that violence may break out in the West Bank again. Local media say that this warning was sent by Israeli military leaders to a government that seems to have shelved all talks with Palestinian Authority leaders. Military analysts say that frustration is growing ever higher among the Palestinian population, in part due to the lack of long-term political prospects. The Israeli domestic secret services, Shin Bet, are also becoming ever more concerned about extremist Jewish settler activities and possible terrorist acts by them. State-run TV has reported that a core group has been set up among them with the intention of carrying out attacks. One of the most alarming scenarios is that suicide attacks may be carried out against Palestinian targets. The major cause of discontent among Palestinians is Israel's halt to paying the customs duties its owes the Palestinian Authority for the past three months, totaling 1.5 million shekel (about 400 million euros). The Netanyahu has also frozen another billion shekels that were to have gone into Palestinian coffers after Palestine asked to join the International Criminal Court to be able to file a case against the occupation of Palestinian territory. Military analysts say that the most extremist parts of Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas are reactivating armed cells as a result. To alleviate some tension, Israel has raised the entrance of Palestinian day laborers into its territory to 10,000. The army would like to see it give back the customs duties as well. Meanwhile, settlers have been arrested in recent days for wanting to oust the democratic system in the country to replace it with a 'Biblical' monarchy, and the Shin Bet has said that extremist rabbis may be planning suicide attacks on Palestinians. (ANSAmed).

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