Dec 15, 2012: Third Intifada Begins
"This is the beginning of a third Palestinian Intifada, which is erupting from the heart of Hebron and will spread to all of Palestine."
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One must be careful with this type of evidence; after all there is more than one reason for the Israeli political police, Shin Beth, to fake such a video. Moreover, considering the clothing of the participants it would be remarkably easy to falsify it even for the youngest agent, maybe as a graduation project. Yet, the video matches other developments on the ground and thus it is credible. It was posted on YouTube on December 15, 2012, by an alleged coalition of Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. These are the four main Palestinian political parties. Considering the disintegration of Palestine into Hamas-controlled Gaza and Fatah-controlled West Bank, this video is by itself groundbreaking news. However, it contains more than an image of unity. Its main message is "This is the beginning of a third Palestinian Intifada, which is erupting from the heart of Hebron and will spread to all of Palestine." This will be achieved through the newly established "National Union Battalions."
Let me translate this into simple terms. Following the acceptance of Palestine as an Observer State by the UN, the main Palestinian factions have united and declared Palestine's Independence War on Israel. Is this credible? Will Palestine declare independence on May 14, 2013?
The video at the left was filmed the day before and shows violence in Hebron. Palestinian police officers are seen clashing with Hamas supporters during a rally in Hebron which marked the group's 25th anniversary. The demonstrators marched from the city hall toward an Israeli checkpoint while the Palestinian officers attempted to disperse them. The demonstrators threw stones at them, and a number of them were detained. Due to resolution issues it is difficult to say for sure, but several Israeli soldiers may have participated in the event.
This may look like a contradiction to the claims made in the video above, but it is not so. It has been five years since Hamas supporters were allowed to gather in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority police was just making sure they would not reach the IDF checkpoint. Hence, the video supports the claim that a new coalition had been achieved.
The First Intifada was formally triggered on December 8, 1987. Two days before that, an Israeli salesman had been stabbed to death in Gaza; denizens suspected a retaliation from Israel. Then, an IDF tank transporter ran into a group of Palestinians from Jabalya Refugee Camp in Gaza. It killed four and injured seven, creating what looked like a retaliation. Subsequent violent protests became the Intifada. Yet, the ground had been burning for months; in despair, the IDF sent training units to the Occupied Territories since the beginning of that year. Years later, in September 2000, the Palestinian unrest was of a similar magnitude. The Second Intifada began on September 28, 2000, when Ariel Sharon, Likud candidate for Israeli Prime Minister, entered the Temple Mount accompanied by over 1,000 security guards. He said, "the Temple Mount is in our hands and will remain in our hands. It is the holiest site in Judaism and it is the right of every Jew to visit the Temple Mount." By the end of 2012, the IDF is betting on a third variant of the theme. Yet, recent Palestinian actions show that a similar scenario is unlikely to happen.
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