The Palestinian Authority and Hamas Are Contributing to the Current Wave of Terror

In Israel in the past two weeks, acts of terror have left eleven dead, while security services foiled additional attacks. On Friday, border police raided a West Bank terrorist cell, resulting in a shoot-out that left three Palestinian gunmen dead and an Israeli officer severely wounded. The weekend saw Arabs riot in Jerusalem’s Old City. Yossi Kuperwasser seeks out the reasons for this escalation of violence, and notes several features that distinguish it from previous outbreaks: the involvement of Arab Israelis, the attackers’ affiliation with Islamic State (IS), and the fact that, unlike much terrorism of the past few years, most of the attacks have taken place within the pre-1967 borders.

The Israeli government and the security services wanted to believe . . . that by improving the economic situation in the Palestinian Authority’s areas and Gaza, they could gain at least temporary quiet and muddle through the sensitive period of the religious and nationalist holidays in April and May. They believed that the Palestinian Authority (PA) would fight terror in the areas under its control, and Hamas would preserve calm and restrain the other factions in Gaza. Pouring money into the Israeli-Arab society was also considered a way of bolstering their interest in integrating into Israeli society and keeping them away from violent and criminal activities. Although these assumptions may be correct, they miss the point.

The PA and Hamas, as well as elements of the pragmatic leadership of the Israeli Arabs, may take advantage of the economic gestures and deliver what is expected of them, but they are not in full control of the terror threats. In addition, more disturbingly, the PA and Hamas continue to stoke terror and hatred, and Hamas calls for terror from the areas not under its control, including by Arabs in Judea and Samaria and within Israel.

The Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas is responsible for much of the incitement, in part through his insistence on paying salaries to arrested terrorists and monthly stipends to the families of killed terrorists. His expenditures will now include payments to the families of the terrorists killed in the latest attacks and confrontations with the security forces, and to arrested terrorists. Yet, Abbas avoided any reference to the first and second attacks, and only under Israeli and American pressure did he issue a very feeble condemnation of the third. Meanwhile, the Fatah movement, which he leads, and its terror arm, the al-Aqsa Brigades, praised the attacks.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Hamas, ISIS, Israeli Security, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror

 

The Arab Press Blames Iran Rather Than Israel for Gaza’s Woes

Following the fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad over the weekend, many journalists and commentators in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia didn’t rush to condemn the Jewish state. Instead, as the translators at the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) note, they criticized the terrorist group for “operating in service of Iranian interests and thus inflicting suffering on the Gaza Strip’s residents.” One Saudi intellectual, Turki al-Hamad, wrote the following on Twitter:

It is apparent that, if at one time any confrontation between Israel and the Palestinian organizations would attract world and Arab attention and provoke a wave of anger [against Israel], today it does not shock most Arabs and most of the world’s [countries]. Furthermore, even a sense of human solidarity [with the Palestinians] has become rare and embarrassing, raising the question, “Why [is this happening] and who is to blame?”

I believe that the main reason is the lack of confidence in all the Palestinian leaders. . . . From the Arabs’ and the world’s perspective, it is already clear that these leaders are manipulating the [Palestinian] cause out of self-interest and diplomatic, economic, or even personal motives, and that the Palestinian issue is completely unconnected to this. The Palestinian cause has become a bargaining chip in the hands of these and other organizations and states headed by the [Iranian] ayatollah regime.

A, article in a major Arabic-language newspaper took a similar approach:

In a lengthy front-page report on August 7, the London-based UAE daily Al-Arab criticized Islamic Jihad, writing that “Gaza again became an arena for the settling of accounts between Iran and Israel, while the Palestinian citizens are the ones paying the price.” It added that Iran does not want to confront Israel directly for its bombings in Syria and its attacks on Iranian scientists and nuclear facilities.

“The war in Gaza is not the first, nor will it be the last. But it proves . . . that Iran is exploiting Gaza as it exploits Lebanon, in order to strengthen its hand in negotiations with the West. We all know that Iran hasn’t fired a single bullet at Israel, and it also will not do this to defend Gaza or Lebanon.”

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Read more at MEMRI

More about: Gaza Strip, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Israel-Arab relations, Persian Gulf