At Its Seventh Congress, Mahmoud Abbas’s Party Endorses Continued Low-Grade Violence

Dec. 22 2016

At the seventh congress of the PLO’s Fatah faction a few weeks ago, the Palestinian Authority (PA) president and other party leaders gave speeches endorsing “popular resistance” against Israel, the policy initiated at the previous congress in 2009. The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center explains what this term signifies:

[While] “popular resistance” is represented as legal, unarmed, and peaceful, . . . developments on the ground since the sixth conference indicate that behind the term “peaceful popular resistance” hides support given by Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah, and the Palestinian Authority to terrorism, which again erupted violently in September 2015. . . .

As far as Fatah and the PA are concerned, “popular resistance” creates constant, monitored, [and] controlled tension between Israel and the Palestinians, used to exert pressure on Israel to the degree considered appropriate for the needs of the PA’s political campaign against Israel. [For] the PA and Fatah, “popular resistance” [is] an acceptable alternative to Hamas’s concept of “armed struggle,” which the PA and Fatah do not regard as useful at the present stage of the Palestinians’ anti-Israel struggle (although Fatah does not reject it in principle).

“Popular resistance” is not non-violent protest, as claimed by Mahmoud Abbas and the PA. It makes extensive use of violence, especially the throwing of stones and Molotov cocktails, as well as stabbing and vehicular attacks. . . . During the past year “popular resistance” . . . has caused the deaths of dozens of Israeli civilians and members of the Israeli security forces. . . .

[Nonetheless], the PA objects to the use of firearms and to turning “popular resistance” into a military-type intifada against Israel, as advocated by Hamas.

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More about: Fatah, Israel & Zionism, Knife intifada, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian terror


Syria’s Downing of a Russian Plane Put Israel in the Crosshairs

Sept. 21 2018

On Monday, Israeli jets fired missiles at an Iranian munitions storehouse in the northwestern Syrian city of Latakia. Shortly thereafter, Syrian personnel shot down a Russian surveillance plane with surface-to-air missiles, in what seems to be a botched and highly incompetent response to the Israeli attack. Moscow first responded by blaming Jerusalem for the incident, but President Putin then offered more conciliatory statements. Yesterday, Russian diplomats again stated that Israel was at fault. Yoav Limor comments:

What was unusual [about the Israeli] strike was the location: Latakia [is] close to Russian forces, in an area where the IDF hasn’t been active for some time. The strike itself was routine; the IDF notified the Russian military about it in advance, the missiles were fired remotely, the Israeli F-16s returned to base unharmed, and as usual, Syrian antiaircraft missiles were fired indiscriminately in every direction, long after the strike itself was over. . . .

Theoretically, this is a matter between Russia and Syria. Russia supplied Syria with the SA-5 [missile] batteries that wound up shooting down its plane, and now it must demand explanations from Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. That won’t happen; Russia was quick to blame Israel for knocking over the first domino, and as usual, sent conflicting messages that make it hard to parse its future strategy. . . .

From now on, Russia will [almost certainly] demand a higher level of coordination with Israel and limits on the areas in which Israel can attack, and possibly a commitment to refrain from certain actions. Syria, Iran, and Hizballah will try to drag Russia into “handling” Israel and keeping it from continuing to carry out strikes in the region. Israel . . . will blame Iran, Hizballah, and Syria for the incident, and say they are responsible for the mess.

But Israel needs to take rapid action to minimize damage. It is in Israel’s strategic interest to keep up its offensive actions to the north, mainly in Syria. If that action is curtailed, Israel’s national security will be compromised. . . . No one in Israel, and certainly not in the IDF or the Israel Air Force, wants Russia—which until now hasn’t cared much about Israel’s actions—to turn hostile, and Israel needs to do everything to prevent that from happening. Even if that means limiting its actions for the time being. . . . Still, make no mistake: Russia is angry and has to explain its actions to its people. Israel will need to walk a thin line between protecting its own security interests and avoiding a very unwanted clash with Russia.

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More about: Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Russia, Syrian civil war