According to a report at The Tower blog Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization is fanning the flames of a possible third Intifada. Shortly after news broke that a Palestinian Arab in Israeli custody died, reporter Avi Issacharoff visited the man’s home in the West Bank where a mourners tent had been erected. What he found was a minor spectacle set up by Fatah bent on framing Israel–or the Zionists–in the most damning terms.
“Arafat Jaradat, who died a martyr’s death due to torture at the hands of the Prison Service,” a banner read before an autopsy had been conducted on the body. The press also streamed in, taking turns snapping photos of the deceased man’s mourning mother.
Village resident and Fatah leader Abbas Zaki arrived at the tent. He criticized Abbas while issuing his own harsh rhetoric.
“The people will decide whether we’re about to embark on an intifada. The current leadership cannot calm tempers – the economy is ruined; Jerusalem is under attack. The president [Abbas] says he opposes an intifada and armed struggle, but is he able to convince his people of that? No, he won’t be able to bring his people anything. Is there any Palestinian leader who can say we’ll overlook the spilled blood of Arafat Jaradat? It’s the PA that should be revolting – we’re all ready to fight and even to die,” he was quoted as saying.
In recent days Israel has asked the PA to calm its rhetoric as Arabs took to the streets in violent confrontations with Israeli security forces. But the PA rebuffed the Israelis and according to Issacharoff the only thing keeping the situation from exploding is, ironically, the Palestinian security forces.
“What’s undeniably clear is that the Palestinian security forces are serving as a buffer against a dangerous outburst of violence, even as their counterparts in Fatah continue to ratchet up the rhetoric of confrontation,” he writes, adding,”It’s a dangerous game on the Palestinian Authority’s part. The PA’s top leaders have declared that they’re firmly against violence, and yet the heads of Fatah – and also, in large part, those of the PA – scarcely conceal their support for violent protests (though they of course don’t describe them as such) as long as they don’t spread beyond the fully Palestinian-controlled parts of the West Bank known as Area A.”