Palestinian seminars advance uprisings as alternative to Hamas ‘armed resistance’

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TEL AVIV — The Palestinian Authority has been sponsoring seminars and workshops to organize another uprising against Israel, an intelligence report said.

The Israeli intelligence community asserted that the PA was helping plan strategy to launch what was termed an effective uprising in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

A Palestinian protester throws a stone during clashes with Israeli soldiers and border policemen in the West Bank city of Hebron on Feb. 24.  /Reuters/Ammar Awad
A Palestinian throws a stone during clashes with Israeli security forces in Hebron on Feb. 24. /Reuters/Ammar Awad

The intelligence community’s open-source arm said the uprising would include Palestinian firebomb and stone-throwing attacks on Israeli civilians.

“Internally, the PA and Fatah have presented the Palestinian public with the popular resistance as an acceptable alternative to Hamas’ ‘armed resistance’ which the PA and Fatah feel is not, at the present time, useful in current stage of the Palestinian struggle against Israel,” the report, titled “PA-Sponsored Eighth International Conference for Popular Resistance Held in Bilin to Discuss Broadening It and Increasing Its Effectiveness,” said.

In the Oct. 17 report, the state-sponsored Intelligence and Terrorism
Information Center outlined PA sponsorship of plans to destabilize the West
Bank and Jerusalem. The report said the strategy called for the
participation of Westerners in violence meant to delegitimize the Jewish

The latest Bilin conference, held on Oct. 2-4 and attended by PA Prime
Minister Rami Hamdallah as well as British and European Union
representatives, focused on mobilization for an uprising
against Israel. One resolution called for the establishment of an uprising
command that would enlist students and farmers.

“The support offered by the PA includes funds and logistic support for
the groups waging the popular resistance, even if the support is not always
what was expected,” the report said.

The intelligence report, however, said organizers were dismayed by the
absence of widespread Palestinian attacks in the West Bank. The frustration
came despite PA encouragement of violence and failure to condemn the killing
of three Israelis in October.

“The resolutions passed by the conference and the public statements of
senior popular resistance activists reflect, in our assessment, a certain
degree of frustration because the popular resistance has not yet turned into
a broad popular uprising,” the report said. “In effect, its activities have
waxed and waned, while in recent weeks popular resistance violence has
increased, especially with regard to the throwing of stones and Molotov

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