West Bank, no hope on the horizon

by archynewsycom
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The military operation by land and air that Israel launched in the early hours of Sunday in beat it It seemed this Tuesday night was coming to an end with the start of the troop withdrawal. What will not end is the spiral of violence that has returned some scenes of the Second Intifada to the Jenin refugee camp after once again becoming the great stronghold of the Palestinian militias. Within 48 hours of the largest Israeli offensive in the last 20 years in that northern part of west bank12 Palestinians were killed, the vast majority by armed forces from Islamic Jihad and Hamas in attacks and fighting, and a hundred were injured. During this period, a dozen Israelis were injured by two Palestinians in an intentional hit-and-run and stabbing in Tel Aviv and Bnei Brak.

With no hope on the horizon, the West Bank seems doomed to two scenarios: the current and worrying situation or its deterioration, which could lead to a new intifada in the medium term if the weakened Palestinian National Authority (ANP) completely collapses. Here are key players in the crisis.

The decision to go from one more raid to launching a larger offensive in time (from several hours to two days), in soldiers (from a hundred to a thousand) and in resources (use of drones) is explained first. in the death of 24 people in Palestinian attacks in the first six months of 2023 and the government of Benjamin Netanyahu. The increase in armed attacks against Israelis with Jenin as the point of origin (planning) and return (hiding) raised the pressure on the army and the coalition where, in addition, two small ultranationalist parties demand a large-scale operation aware that it is only a few months accused the former executive of “weakness in the face of terrorism”. Its leaders are not the ones who make decisions like the current offensive, but they do influence, for example, the expansion in the colonies in the West Bank, taking advantage of the fact that Netanyahu needs them to govern in the absence of alternatives with the center-left.

The deep division in Israel, as a result of the controversial judicial reform proposal, is seen by its enemies as a sign of weakness. Operations like the one this week also seek to restore the deterrence capacity beyond the borders of Jenin and the words of Netanyahu, who hours before the start of the withdrawal of his soldiers from the field said that they will not allow it to “return to being a city -refuge of terror” after an offensive that, according to him, aborted many attacks.

The refugee camp, with around 14,000 inhabitants in less than half a square kilometer, lived through a dramatic 48 hours, which caused the flight of 3,000 people. The motivation of those who proclaim themselves “liberators of Palestine”, the religious (radicalized) and economic factor (35% unemployment), the social networks that create heroes with rifles to emulate and the enormous amount of weapons available form an explosive cocktail in Jenin where the ANP security personnel lost control. So far this year in the West Bank and Israel, more than 140 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, the vast majority of them militants in armed clashes or attackers killed in their attacks or riots, but also civilians.

Unlike Gaza, where Hamas rules with an iron fist and can impose a truce with Israel, Jenin has an alliance of militias under the umbrella of the so-called “Jenin Brigade” and the baton of Islamic Jihad that promises to follow the tradition of the camp. to lead “the armed resistance”.

Created in the Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO In the 1990s, the ANP was experiencing its worst moments since the 2005 presidential elections that brought Abu Mazen to power. As long as you don’t step Gaza since 2007, when the split between Hamas and Al Fatahthe veteran the president faces a frustrating situation in the West Bank. Internally, the PNA has lost a lot of legitimacy, as many Palestinians denounce it as a corrupt and authoritarian entity. Despite the fact that on Monday he announced the suspension of contacts and security cooperation with Israel in response to what he called a “war crime in Jenin”, Abu Mazen is still seen by many as “a collaborator of the occupier”. In addition, it must deal since 2014 with the paralysis of the negotiations that lead to the Palestinian State, with the most right-wing Israeli government that is promoting more than any other in the past the construction of colonies in the territory occupied in the 1967 war despite the opposition of USA and with the chaos reigning in Jenin.

It is not surprising that in Ramallah there are those who advise him to announce the end of the ANP. something today Abu MazenMore He refuses, considering that it would go against the interests of the Palestinian people. This is also opposed by Netanyahu, accused by many analysts in his own country of not having taken measures in recent years to strengthen the figure of Abu Mazen and the role of the PNA.

The increasingly publicized meetings with the leadership of Hamas and Islamic Jihad confirm the support of Tehran, which in recent months has gone beyond the ideological and economic aspect. In the face of Israeli airstrikes against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and its militias in Syria and weapons convoys to hezbollah in Lebanon in recent years, Iran decided to respond in Israel’s backyard, the West Bank. Hence, it not only encourages the Palestinians to attack their enemy but plans, finances and helps with weapons that it introduces into the West Bank. The strategy is a common front against Israel from the north (Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon), south (Gaza) and center (the West Bank).

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