If the new violence in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv isn’t a new organized intifada, it’s not for lack of effort. So-called “lone wolf” attacks have killed and injured a number of Israelis this month, putting nerves on edge. Today, two more attacks took place:
Two Israelis were lightly injured in stabbing attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba on Friday.
A Palestinian teenager stabbed an Israeli youth in the capital around noon, police said.
The attacker fled the scene. A suspect, matching the description of the attacker, was later caught by police. Early reports said he was an 18-year-old resident of Hebron in the West Bank.
Today, a reprisal attack took place in southern Israel:
Four Arabs were stabbed in a town in southern Israel and a Jewish suspect was arrested, police said Friday amid a surge in knife violence by Palestinians against Israelis.
The stabbings took place in the town of Dimona and were all were believed to have been carried out by the same suspect, police said.
Over the last couple of days, Palestinian calls for a new round of street violence have peaked at the universities and in Hamas-ruled Gaza. AFP reported on these calls for an intifada from these university students in the West Bank:
In Gaza, the leader of Hamas called for a general uprising in the West Bank, and pledged to attack Israel in support:
Hamas’s chief in Gaza on Friday called violence that has hit the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem in recent days an “intifada” and urged further unrest.
“We are calling for the strengthening and increasing of the intifada…. It is the only path that will lead to liberation,” Ismail Haniyeh said during a sermon for weekly Muslim prayers at a mosque in Gaza City.
“Gaza will fulfil its role in the Jerusalem intifada and it is more than ready for confrontation.”
Meanwhile, where is Mahmoud Abbas? As the Washington Post’s William Booth reports, both Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are sinking into irrelevancy:
The Palestinian Authority president is struggling to lead, or just survive, as his popularity plummets and Israelis taunt him as being either weak or an inciter, while his own people, especially the youths, have turned away in frustration.
The West Bank is quaking with violent demonstrations, with daily knife attacks by “lone wolf” Palestinian teenagers against Jewish Israelis, countered by deadly fire by Israeli soldiers at rioters, including children.
More than 1,000 Palestinians have been wounded in clashes with Israeli soldiers. Four Israelis have been killed and others wounded by knives and stones.
A week ago, the 80-year-old Abbas returned to Ramallah from New York, where he celebrated the U.N. decision to raise the “State of Palestine” flag at the world body.
It should have been a victory, even a small diplomatic one.
At home, nobody really cared.
The problem for the Palestinians is that few care anywhere else, either. Both Hamas and the Fatah have made it clear that their long-term goal is the destruction of Israel, not a permanent two-state solution. Under those terms, nothing short of a war of annihilation would suffice for the Palestinians, since the Israelis aren’t about to leave. With the rise of ISIS, the Syrian civil war, and the Iranians about to break out from their economic shackles to claim hegemony over the region, all of those Sunni nations that used to exploit the Palestinians to tweak the Israelis are suddenly seeing Israel as a potential last line of alliance against the Iranians. Those Sunni nations never cared much about the plight of the Palestinians, and now they can’t be bothered to care about them at all — especially since Hamas has allied themselves with Iran.
Abbas isn’t the only Palestinian to sink into irrelevancy, in other words. And that may be why we’re seeing the emergence of another intifada.