Conflict spreads in the West Bank

It is the turn of the occupied West Bank to be struck by the violence which is tearing apart Palestinians and Israelis. The day of Saturday, the day of the commemoration of the Nakba, the “Disaster” that the creation of Israel in 1948 represented in the eyes of the Palestinians, and synonymous with an exodus for hundreds of thousands of them, was marked by demonstrations of anger against Israel and confrontations with Israeli soldiers, killing two Palestinians.

The day before, from Ramallah to Hebron and throughout the territory occupied by Israel since 1967, Palestinians threw stones, Molotov cocktails and other projectiles at Israeli forces, who retaliated with rubber bullets and, in some cases live bullets. Al-Aqsa martyrs’ brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, marched through the streets of Jenin refugee camp, the focal point of the second Intifada. In a statement, they officially announced that they would target Israeli positions throughout the West Bank. Yasser Arafat’s movement is therefore now taking its part in the violent standoff between the Palestinians and the Israelis. So far, Fatah has only stood out for its cancellation of legislative elections, supposed to be held next week, as Hamas has taken up arms and the Palestinian street is set on fire from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River.

On Thursday, May 13, eight Palestinians were injured by settlers, with the protection of Israeli soldiers, during a punch operation on their village of At-Tuwani, south of Hebron. “Things are getting worse quickly, confided to The cross Sami Huraini, a nonviolent activist. They shot us with live ammunition. It’s completely new ”, he asserted, adding that he hadn’t recognized any of the soldiers. “There have been four attacks in less than a week, now we expect an attack anytime. “

Has a point of no return been crossed? ” On the one hand, you have the Islamists of Hamas who feel they have had the Palestinian legislative elections stolen after the postponement announced by Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas. On the other hand, you have an increasingly contested Benjamin Netanyahu. He has allied himself with members of the extreme right for purely political reasons and they are increasing provocations against the Palestinians. All this together creates a lot of tension: if you throw a match in a powder keg like Jerusalem, it explodes ”, answers Ofer Bronchtein, president of the Forum for Peace and former adviser to Yitzhak Rabin, worried, before adding however: “I do not accept the idea that a point of no return has been reached between Palestinians and Israelis. There have been many victims and there will be more. But we are talking about 15 million people who live in the same territory: Palestinians and Israelis are condemned to live together. On the ground, more than 200 organizations work daily for peace. “


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