1. The popular resistance is the central strategy used by the Palestinians on the ground and integrated into the political, economic, propaganda and legal campaigns currently being waged against Israel by the PA. The PA and Fatah use the popular resistance to maintain constant, monitored, controlled tension in Palestinian relations with Israel. The popular resistance is aimed to exert pressure on Israel to the extent and degree considered suitable according to political developments, and considered legitimate by the international community. 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.
2. The popular resistance is not the peaceful, non-violent protest the PA pretends it is. It makes massive use of cold weapon violence, usually but not always frequently involving the frequent Molotov cocktails and stones. In addition, there are sporadic attacks involving knives and vehicular attacks on Israelis and Israeli targets. In recent years, the use of cold weapons against Israeli security forces and Israeli civilians has increased considerably and become the main component of anti-Israeli violence in Judea and Samaria, as opposed to a significant decrease in the use of arms (guns and explosives). Although the popular resistance has not turned into a mass uprising (in most instances its events attract between dozens and hundreds of participants), occasionally it claims casualties among Israeli civilians and soldiers, as well as Palestinians rioters.
3. International activists are integrated into the popular resistance, some of them belonging to NGOs hostile to Israel which participate in the campaign to delegitimize it. To attract international NGOs to the popular resistance, every year a conference is held in the town of Bil’in, which has turned into a kind of symbol, a brand for the popular resistance. The conferences are attended by representatives from the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah as well as local popular resistance activists. In addition diplomats, especially from European countries, also participate, as do representatives of anti-Israeli NGOs from various countries.
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