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Fatah Official: PA Can't Contain Nakba Rage

Fatah's Abbas Zaki says PA can't contain "Nakba Day" rage as the IDF gears up for potential violence and Fayyad calls for "mobilization."
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 5/12/2011, 9:19 PM / Last Update: 5/12/2011, 9:28 PM

Fatah officials say the Palestinian Authority won't be able to contain 'Nakba Day' protests marking the 63rd anniversary of the creation of Israel, The Media Line reports.

Arabs in PA controlled areas have been encouraged by the toppling of Arab leaders in the 'spring revolt' and believe the same can be done with Israel, Abbas Zaki of the Fatah Central Committee told The Media Line.

Blaming Israel for an impasse in talks with the PA, Zaki said the PA leadership would be hard pressed to contain Arab rage.

“The Palestinian leadership has faced a dead end and has been unable to advance the many Palestinian issues even a bit. This leadership won’t be able to quiet the street, which has witnessed the success and achievements of the Egyptians and Tunisians. The Palestinian people will react according to its level of hope in a peaceful solution,” Zaki said.

On Sunday, Arabs in areas administered by Hamas and Fatah will mark the so-called 'Nakba,' or 'catastrophe' as they refer to the creation of Israel. Israel is looking at the demonstrations planned for the weekend as a test case for the PA security forces.

Observers note it may not merely be a question of the PA leadership containing riots, but actively fanning the flames. Fatah and Hamas have reportedly created a joint committee to coordinate 'Nakba Day' activities, leading some to suggest concerns a Third Intifada will erupt on May 15 are valid.

Calls have also been circulating in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria for a 'million man' march in Israel on May 15, Al Jazeera reported Thursday.

According to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz visited troops on Wednesday and briefed commanders on possible scenarios, including extreme violence.

“The IDF estimates that events on the ground could lead to violence, even if no side is interested in such a scenario,” a spokesperson said.

On Wednesday, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad adopted a belligerent tone when he called on the public to “mobilize” against Israel for the step.

A march on Beit El by Arabs from Ramallah is expected by the IDF. Residents reported low overflights by an IDF helicopter assessing terrain and the town's security perimeter.