Daily Israel Report

Could Israel Face 'Third Intifada'?

MK Moshe Matalon warns that Israel may be facing a “third Intifada,” calls for heavy-handed action to remove threat.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 10/5/2009, 10:06 PM / Last Update: 10/6/2009, 1:07 AM

(file)

MK Moshe Matalon of Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) warned Monday night that Israel could be facing a “third Intifada,” as evidenced by recent violence in Jerusalem. “The government of Israel must use a heavy and uncompromising hand against inciters and rioters in Jerusalem,” he said.

Matalon called to take action against Sheikh Raed Salah in particular. Sheikh Salah, a leader of the Islamic Movement, has accused Israel of planning to destroy the Al Aksa mosque on the Temple Mount.

"Send the arch-inciter, Sheikh Raed Salah, to his followers in Gaza,” Matalon said. Israel must “terminate the Third Intifada with prejudice,” he concluded.

Riots continued in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem on Monday as Muslim leaders and the Palestinian Authority called to “protect Al-Aksa” and “prevent the Judaization of Jerusalem.” Several rioters have been arrested for allegedly attacking police officers and Jewish civilians with stones.

Police revealed Monday that wheelbarrows filled with heavy stones of the type used recently by Muslim Temple Mount rioters were found hidden on the Temple Mount the day before. The discovery indicates that the “spontaneous” Temple Mount riots were planned in advance, police hinted.

'Second Intifada' and the Temple Mount
Palestinian Authority Arabs term the bloody years-long terror war that began in 2000 “the Second Intifada” or “the Al-Aksa Intifada.” Many claim that the fighting, which included hundreds of suicide bombings and other attacks on Israeli civilians, began when then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount.

Sharon's visit was followed by Muslim riots calling to “protect Al-Aksa.” Several Palestinian Authority Arabs were killed while clashing with police and soldiers during the violent riots.

Israel rejects claims that Sharon's visit sparked a “spontaneous uprising” that led to the terror war. “It is clear that the current wave of Palestinian terrorism, which began in the wake of the Camp David summit failure, has nothing to do with a spontaneous Palestinian action to 'resist the occupation.' The Palestinian leadership had taken a strategic decision to abandon the path to peace and to use violence as their primary tactic for advancing their agenda,” says a government statement on the violence.

'Third Intifada' fears From August
Fears that the PA would begin inciting towards a “third intifada” surfaced in August, as the Fatah party that rules the PA met in Bethlehem and called for “resistance” against Israel. The Fatah conference delegates included several arch-terrorists.

The virulent rhetoric heard at the conference led former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Avi Dichter, now a politician with Kadima, to warn that another bloody terrorist war could be on the horizon.

PA officials also warned of a “third Intifada.” In September, the PA official in charge of the “settlement portfolio,” Shassan Daghlas, told Xinhua that Jewish growth in Judea and Samaria could lead to “a popular uprising against Israel,” while PA-based expert Abdel Hantash told the news agency that “The chances of the eruption of another Palestinian popular Intifada against Israel are high.”