A Palestinian Return to Armed Struggle Would Be a Disaster

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Matthew Levitt - A Palestinian return to armed struggle would be a far greater political, economic, and humanitarian disaster than any short-term frustration with the negotiations. As the tempo of negotiations between the main parties picks up speed, more radical actors have reemerged to violently oppose the process. There has been a sharp increase in rockets fired at Israel from Gaza in the past few weeks as well as an increase in violence across the West Bank. Israeli and Palestinian sources agree that PA security forces have been weak in the face of recent unrest. The PA suffered a serious blow when Prime Minister Salam Fayyad resigned in April 2013. Meanwhile, Hamas appears to be expanding its presence in the West Bank, intending to take advantage of the PA's decline. In Gaza, Hamas continues to lay the groundwork for a future battle with Israel with steady weapons production, while radicalization efforts continue unabated. At a January 13 graduation ceremony for a "jihadi education" youth camp, Interior Minister Fathi Hamad told an audience of thousands: "This generation, Allah willing, will vanquish Israel."

2014-03-21 00:00:00

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