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February 25, 2013 6:46 pm

Israel: PA Inciting Riots Ahead of Obama’s Visit

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Weekly demonstrations held at regular sites in the West Bank such as Bil'in and Ni'lin often escalate into violent riots, where rioters hurl rocks and firebombs at IDF and Border Police forces. Photo: wiki commons.

Further riots and possible calls for violence erupted on Monday following the death of a Palestinian man in an Israeli prison over the weekend.

Hundreds of Palestinians hurled rocks at Israeli security forces during the funeral procession of Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat, who died in an Israeli prison over the weekend. More than 25,000 were estimated to have attended the funeral near Hebron.

Palestinians accuse Israel of torturing Jaradat, leading to his death. Israel, however, says that Jaradat died of a heart attack and his injuries were caused by efforts to revive him, according to an official autopsy carried out in Tel Aviv in the presence of a Palestinian coroner.

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“The death of young Arafat Jadarat shall not pass easily,” Israeli Army Radio quoted Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas as saying, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Another Palestinian official, Abbas Zaki, called Jaradat’s death an Israeli crime and hinted at further violence.

“I am telling Fatah members that our enemy only understands the language of force,” he told the crowd, the Associated Press reported.

On Israeli radio, Amos Gilad, a director in the Defense Ministry, accused the PA of stoking unrest ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit in March.

“The PA is walking a thin line: also inciting violence and also not wanting things to get out of control. The problem is that they’re aiming for controlled violence, but it can get out of control. They want to project strength ahead of the Obama visit, so they’re lighting a fire under the prisoner issue—which is a popular issue on the Palestinian street,” Gilad said, according to Israel Hayom.

Gilad also cautioned against the Palestinians starting a Third Intifada.

“A major terror attack is not in their interest. They know that the damage they would incur would be devastating,” he said.

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