Israel is bracing itself for possible 'disturbances' by PA Arabs in the wake of its probable statehood vote Thursday at the United Nations.
IDF officials predicted Wednesday evening that no unusual disturbances would occur Thursday night in pre-1967 Israel.
Few are likely to take place in Area C either, officials said - the sections of the country restored to Israel during the 1967 Six Day War and which have remained under the full control of Israel's government. Areas A were handed over to the administrative and security control of the Palestinian Authority in prior negotiations. Areas B are currently under the joint control of both Israel and the PA.
On Friday, the day after the U.N. vote, the IDF believes that PA Arabs will attempt to escalate the violence.
It is on Friday – the day of the Islamic Sabbath – that most Muslim extremist violence occurs, due to the incitement that pours forth from the pulpits at morning prayers in the mosques, especially from the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was from that site that the Second Intifada (also known as the "Al Aqsa Intifada" among the Arabs, and as the "Oslo War" in Israel) was ignited in late September 2000.
Israeli security officials have said, however, that this Friday's violence is likely to come “at a level not different from the reality we have [already] seen in recent days.” That, despite calls since last year by Arab extremists to start a Third Intifada. Attacks by Arabs on Israeli civilians, police officers and soldiers have been steadily rising over the past year on both sides of the 1949 Armistice Line, also known as “the Green Line.” The escalating rocket, mortar and missile fire eventually led to Israel's decision to launch its recent eight-day Operation Pillar of Defense counter terror offensive against Gaza terrorists. Egypt and the United States brokered a ceasefire with Gaza to silence the rocket fire and ends Israel's retaliation, but final details of the agreement are still being worked out between the parties in Cairo.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who also leads the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) that represents the PA to the U.N., rejected on Wednesday the last minute pressure by the United States to withdraw his unilateral bid for PLO status as a “nonmember observer state.” The move circumvents the international mandate as delineated in the 1994 Oslo Accords for the PA and Israel to negotiate the PA's final status as a state, and all its related complex issues.
Until this point, only the Vatican has been granted the status of an “observer state” at the U.N., which requires defined geographic boundaries and a centralized, functioning government.
The Palestinian Authority has neither: its territory as a finalized, specific entity has yet to be determined. Its government was split into two when the rival Fatah and Hamas factions warred with each other in Gaza in 2007. Ultimately the Hamas terrorist organization ousted Fatah from the region and created its own government in Gaza, which it has ruled with an iron fist to the present time. Fatah continues to rule the PA from its capital city of Ramallah, located in the PA-controlled section of the Samaria region.
The resolution is expected to pass a vote at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, which in effect will create a de facto recognition of the PA as a sovereign state. Garlands of flowers and huge banners have already been hung across streets and from windows along the buildings of every village, town and city in the Palestinian Authority in anticipation of the vote, sources said Thursday morning.