Israel’s intelligence community has determined that the Palestinian Authority was committed to another revolt in the West Bank.
The open-source arm of the intelligence community asserted that the PA decided to wage what was termed “popular resistance” in an effort to increase international pressure on Israel and bolster the regime of chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
In a report, the Terrorism Information Center said the uprising strategy was drafted by the PA and the ruling Fatah movement as early as 2009.
http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/en/article/20515 “Internally, the PA and Fatah have presented the Palestinian public with the ‘popular resistance’ as an acceptable alternative to Hamas’ ‘armed resistance,’ which PA and Fatah feel is not, at the present time, useful in the Palestinian campaign against Israel,” the report, titled “The Palestinian ‘Popular Resistance’ and Its Built-In Violence,” said.
[On June 6, the Israel Security Agency reported an 11 percent drop in Palestinian attacks for May 2013. ISA said the biggest factor was a decline in missile and rocket strikes from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.] The report reflected the assessment by the intelligence community that the PA, which established 30 committees, would not quell anti-Israeli violence in either Jerusalem or the West Bank. The report said attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians marked a key element in the campaign against Israel.
“As far as the PA and Fatah are concerned, the popular resistance creates constant, controlled tension in the Palestinian relations with Israel,” the report, dated May 20, said. “The popular resistance can be used to exert pressure on Israel to the extent and degree suitable to political developments, and is regarded as legitimate by the international community.”
The PA strategy, the report said, has been to generate massive violence against Israel, an effort intensified after the Israel-Hamas war in November 2012. The intelligence center cited such Palestinian tactics as firebombs, stones, knife attacks, hit-and-run collisions with Israeli motorists. The report said PA security services have distinguished between suicide bombings and other forms of attacks on Israel. At the same time, the Ramallah regime, calling this peaceful resistance, was supporting the increasing use of “cold weapons” against Israelis, a strategy that ruled out bombs or firearms.
“The PA publicly supports the systematic violence used in popular resistance’ attacks and both directly and indirectly, providing financial and logistic support,” the report said. “The PA’s security forces do not take the same effective steps to prevent the use of cold weapons as they do to prevent the use of arms, although they make an effort to contain and control violent incidents of friction.”
The intelligence center envisioned increasing Palestinian violence in 2013 regardless of negotiations with Israel. The report said the PA determined that its current campaign was improving its position toward Hamas as well as quell Palestinian frustration.
At the same time, the report said, the PA continued security coordination with Israel. PA security forces were said to have employed “preventive measures” against Hamas and other insurgency movements in the West Bank.
“However, ideologically at least, the PA and Fatah have not ruled out the option of an armed campaign,” the report said.
The report said Hamas and Islamic Jihad were trying to develop a military network in the West Bank. Hamas and Jihad plots failed, however, amid effective Israeli counter-insurgency operations.
“In our assessment, their failure to successfully export terrorism from the Gaza Strip to Judea and Samaria [West Bank] is primarily the result of the Israeli security forces’ effective counterterrorism activities,” the report said.
“To them can be added the preventive activities of the Palestinian security forces and the Palestinian public’s unwillingness, at least at this point in time, to pay the high price of a new intifada.”