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Tuesday, July 19, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Report: Palestinians using statehood push at UN to set stage for war with Israel

JERUSALEM — The Palestinian Authority plans to use international backing to legitimize a new conflict with Israel, a report said.


The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs asserted that the PA, in cooperation with Hamas, hopes that a United Nations resolution for a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip would set the stage for war with Israel in late 2011. The report, authored by leading Israeli analyst Pinhas Inbari, envisioned what Palestinian leaders have termed a "third intifada," or revolt, Middle East Newsline reported.

"What the Palestinians really envisage after September is to exploit a UN endorsement of statehood to legitimize an escalation of the conflict," the report, titled "What Are the Palestinians Planning after September?" said. "After having the 1967 lines recognized so as to negate the results of the Six-Day War, they plan to seek recognition of the 1947 partition lines."

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Inbari, a senior policy analyst at the Jerusalem Center, said the PA was preparing for a renewal of hostilities with Israel around September, when the UN considers a resolution for Palestinian statehood. One scenario was that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas resigns and the PA dissolves to pave the way for an insurgency war.

"The Palestinians do not want to declare a state, but, rather, to leave the conflict open," the report said. "What the Palestinians plan to do then is not to exercise statehood but to declare themselves a 'state under occupation' in order to legitimize the escalation of the struggle."

The report quoted Fatah leader Hatem Abdul Khader as saying that Abbas was prepared to resign should Israel refuse to allow a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Jerusalem in 2011. Abdul Khader said Abbas's replacement would abolish all agreements with Israel and "lead the Palestinians back to the struggle."

Inbari said the PA and the Palestine Liberation Organization have refused to discuss Israeli proposals for land swaps, particularly the Arab-populated areas of Israel's Triangle region. The report said the Palestinians want the Arab minority to serve as an irredentist force against Israel.

"The PLO, apparently, wants to leave the Palestinian-populated areas in Israel as an anchor for pushing Israel back to the 1947 borders or even further, as the territorial basis for exercising the right of return into Israel," the report said.

The report said the PA plans to seek UN recognition of the 1947 partition of Palestine, which would enable the transfer of some seven million Palestinians to Israel. Inbari said the Palestinians, with help from supporters in Europe, would also organize an economic and legal campaign as well as create strife between Israel and the United States.

"The Third Intifada is a joint project of all parties in the PA and the diaspora: Hamas, radical leftists, Fatah, and even the PA government in Ramallah," the report said. "The only difference appears to be that, whereas the actors outside the framework of government responsibility are outspoken, the governmental circles are more cautious. One cannot discern any sort of dispute within the Palestinian political body, but, rather, a consensus."

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