Third intifada in Palestine is feasible: Trend News commentator
Commentator of Trend Middle East Desk, Ulviya Sadikova
The third Palestinian intifada, of which ground was prepared last year, can begin already over the next months, and possibly, with the light hand of the new Foreign Minister of Israel Avigdor Lieberman.
Coming to the post of Foreign Minister, on the first day, Lieberman subjected to doubt the Annapolis agreement - one of the certain successes of the Head of Palestinian Administration Mahmud Abbas and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the delaying peace process.
Lieberman clearly warned the Arab countries and international mediators that the new government of Israel will not co-operate in the establishment of the independent Palestinian state and will not go to any concessions to Palestinians.
Words of extremely right politician, whose Israel is Our Home Party has a sufficient influence in the new government of Benjamin Netanyahu, caused sharp criticism by the Arab leaders to the address of the new ultra-right officials of Israel.
Arabs also decided to attack. During Arab summit in Qatar, the Arab leaders, not-depending on their political way, stated that they will not stand upon ceremony with the government of Netanyahu. For the first time over the last several years, Arab countries, in spite of internal differences, agreed that the Palestinian problem must be solved by any means and as quick as possible.
The daring statements by the Arab countries were caused by the last war in the Gaza Strip between Israel and members of Hamas. The Palestinian movement proved to Israel and Arab leaders, disposed against the activity of Hamas, that "small" organization presents larger danger to Israel than the diplomacy of Arab countries.
The situation in the Middle East incandesced downright. Firstly, the delay in peace process only strengthens the activity of the radical groups in the region, which Iran provides with arms and money. The Arab countries of the Persian Gulf and Egypt want to prevent the attempts of Iran to enlarge its influence in the Arab world and military co-operation with the Palestinian Hamas movement. Making the policy of Hamas moderated is one of the priorities of the policy of pro-Western Arab countries in Palestine.
However, the final disarmament of Hamas due to the radicalization of the Jewish policy can lead to strengthening of Israeli control in the occupied territories and weakening of Arab diplomacy in the sluggish peace process. Now Arab countries hope for the success of the dialogue between Fatah and Hamas, which rejects beginning talks with Israel. If the national government is established, the authorities Fatah on the West Bank will obtain the well armed and trained army of Hamas.
Yet Hamas takes a waiting position regarding Israel's refusal from the peace process, since Israel can use any radical statement as a signal for beginning new military operations in the Gaza Strip. The readiness of Israel for the war, not the peace was described by Lieberman's words which he said in the Knesset that Israel must attain peace faster in a military way, than via negotiations.
Therefore, the Arab world sees and understands that the refusal from the peace process can smoothly develop into new military operations against the Palestinians. Tel Aviv finds reasons always - protection of its security from the Islamists.
Although Hamas did not make concrete statements concerning Netanyahu government's actions, since January of the last year, when Israel blockaded Gaza, the leaders of the movement call upon Palestinian population to the third intifada - armed fight of Palestinians against Israel. It is not excluded that after completion of negotiations regarding establishment of a national government, Fatah, which has weak support of Palestinians, will join Hamas in the call to new intifada. For Mahmud Abbas, this can be a good tool to strengthen its authority before the presidential elections in January 2010.
Still the Palestinian people does not have alternative. Previous two intifadas proved to be advantageous for the Palestinians. As a result of the first revolt in 1986-1993, the Oslo agreement was signed, which established basis for the peace process and where for the first time, Israel agreed for the establishment of Palestinian state. During the second revolt (2000-2004), the Road Map was created, which defines the borders of the future Palestinian state. But in this barrel of honey the spoon of tar proved to be for Israel. If the first revolt led to the formation of radical groups, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, during the second intifada, Hamas strengthened its military and political influence in the region.
Therefore, Israel will unlikely burn all bridges in the peace process. This is threatened not only by armed riot of Palestinians, but also by worsening in the relations with the USA and European Union.
Europe is already concerned by the unwillingness of the new Israeli government to continue negotiations with the Palestinians and the Arab countries. Last month, Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, threatened Israel with the re-consideration of relations in the case of termination of peaceful negotiations. This will be a strong blow for the Israeli economy, since the trade turnover between Europe and Israel makes up 30 percent of the gross trade turnover of Israel.
Therefore, if the government of Netanyahu does not want to face new intifada, it must even now step back from its radical position in the peace process and recognize the right for the establishment of the Palestinian state.
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