How the Palestinian Authority Foments Israeli-Arab Unrest

In 2021, as terrorist groups launched hundreds of rockets into Israel from Gaza, Arab citizens of Israel rioted in a few cities, attacking the homes, synagogues, and persons of their Jewish neighbors. This outburst of violence shocked many Israeli Jews, who had seen abundant evidence that the lot of their Arab compatriots was improving, and that Arabs were increasingly embracing their Israeli identity. Yoni Ben Menachem seeks to put the 2021 riots in context, and argues that they were the product of a systematic program of incitement by the Palestinian Authority (PA)—one that continues today:

[T]he PA and Hamas have turned the Temple Mount issue and the “al-Aqsa is in danger” canard into their main engines for inciting the Israeli Arabs against the state. The incitement is conducted in the Palestinian education system, mosques, official media, and social media.

As the Israeli Arabs see it, what happened in May 2021 was a spontaneous eruption, aimed less at protesting injustice and inequality in Israeli society and more at emphasizing that their national identity is Palestinian rather than Israeli, despite the Israelization phenomenon in the Arab society. They also view the outbreak as highlighting their inseparable affiliation with the Palestinian people and their link to al-Aqsa Mosque. . . . Some members of the Israeli Arab leadership have also helped encourage the violence through rabble-rousing statements in the media.

The PA’s glorification of terrorists also extends to Israeli Arabs involved in terror. Alongside its policy of paying salaries to terrorists serving prison sentences in Israel and stipends to families of those killed or wounded in the Palestinian struggle against Israel, the PA also pays salaries to Israeli Arabs who engage in terror (indeed, they and east Jerusalem Arabs get slightly higher wages than West Bank and Gaza Arabs). The reward incentivizes Israeli Arabs to commit terror attacks. . . . In addition, the PA operates a radio station for Israeli Arabs whose messages fit the narrative of the Palestinian struggle.

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Israeli Arabs, Israeli Security, Israeli society, Palestinian Authority

Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security