TEL AVIV – Top Palestinian security officers and a number of Fatah leaders, including President Mahmoud Abbas, have been at odds recently over the latter’s wish to step up the recent wave of Palestinian terror attacks, a senior Palestinian security official told Breitbart Jerusalem.
The official described Abbas’ position: “In light of the diplomatic stalemate, and the prevalent feeling among Israelis that they can live in security while the Palestinians live under occupation, the current wave of popular resistance must be intensified.”
“The president is not encouraging bombings or the use of firearms in any way,” the source emphasized, “but he thinks that large-scale demonstrations, stone- and Molotov cocktail-throwing could be a bargaining chip for the Palestinian leadership, and may spur the international community to get more involved. Currently, the president believes the peace of the Israelis is hardly disturbed.”
The official estimates that Abbas’ action plan could help clear two significant hurdles. On the one hand, the leadership is unable to stir up widespread protests because it is seen as divided and lacking a long-term plan.
“On the other hand,” the official said, “the officers fear that raising the level of violence runs the risk of going out of control and spreading anarchy, which may drive the Israeli army back into the West Bank in full force. It may also incentivize Hamas to try and stage a coup.”
The officers, he added, work in close cooperation with their Israeli counterparts and regularly liaise with the American defense establishment.
“These officers were trained by General Dayton’s forces after Hamas’ coup in Gaza, in an attempt to prevent a similar maneuver in the West Bank. They believe that popular violence will greatly endanger the [Palestinian] Authority and the Palestinian people, and said it to the president himself. They told him that it’s a gamble, and that nobody can guarantee that a stone and a Molotov cocktail won’t turn into an explosive belt and complete anarchy that would benefit both the Israeli right and Hamas.”
Official Fatah media outlets have been leading incitement campaigns that Israeli officials say are helping to fuel the so-called Palestinian wave of terror.
Abbas himself has made statements claiming an Israeli threat to the al-Aqsa Mosque, considered the third holiest site in Islam. The mosque is located on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.
The latest wave of terror has been in large part driven by the false narrative claiming Jews are attempting to take over the al-Aqsa Mosque and that Israel poses an imminent threat to the site.
The narrative is particularly nonsensical given that it is propagated by the same Palestinian Authority that has been caught on several occasions trying to destroy Jewish Temple-era antiquities on the mount.While claiming an Israeli plot against the al-Aqsa Mosque, hundreds of Palestinians in October set fire to the Joseph’s Tomb complex, causing severe damage to the revered burial place, considered Judaism’s third holiest site.
On the Temple Mount itself, the outlawed radical Islamic Movement has mobilized Arab youth in an attempt to smuggle fire bombs, pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, and stones on to the site in order to attack Jews there.
While Palestinian media outlets have been broadcasting misinformation about Israeli police storming the al-Aqsa Mosque unprovoked, Islamic Movement-tied youth have themselves been using the mosque as a staging base to attack Jews.
The clear goal is to draw Israeli security forces into the sensitive mosque compound and thus fuel the cycle of rumors of Israeli incursions into the mosque.