"Abbas doesn't have to actually approve anything," the official said.
"He just has to remain silent as PA officers and others are recruited to
"We know there has been strenuous efforts to expand the current unrest
in Jerusalem to the West Bank," an official said.
On Oct. 8, Fatah called for a Palestinian general strike throughout
Jerusalem and the West Bank. The movement ordered the shutdown to begin on
The military's Central Command has conducted simulations of Fatah- and
Hamas-organized violence and attacks on Israeli motorists as well as against
Jewish communities in the West Bank.
So far, most of the Palestinian violence, linked to friction around the
Temple Mount, has been limited to Hebron, Jerusalem and Ramallah. Officials
said Hamas has not yet ordered its operatives to attack Jewish targets or
organize anti-Israeli demonstrations.
The PA, particularly Abbas, has come under unprecedented Palestinian
criticism for refusing to support a vote on a United Nations report that
accused Israel of war crimes. Officials said Abbas was responding to heavy
U.S. pressure not to torpedo efforts to renew negotiations between the PA
and Israel. The council shelved the report for six months.
"What happened is a mistake, but it can be repaired," PLO
secretary-general Yasser Abed Rabbo told PA radio. "We have the courage to
admit there was a mistake."
Officials said the PA has ordered security officers and other civil
servants to participate in demonstrations throughout the West Bank. They
said the demonstrations would support Abbas and protest Israeli policy in
the West Bank.
Still, Israel's military has determined that Palestinians were not
rushing to join any campaign against the Jewish state, officials said. They
said the success of any Fatah-organized insurgency would depend largely on
the ability to pay Palestinians to conduct operations against Israel.
"The forecast is that there will be violence, but it will probably not
last long," an Israeli military source said.