First Published: 2012-02-27


Israel judges third Intifada 'unlikely' this year


Foreign ministry’s report judges Palestinians will continue to seize all opportunities to isolate Israel on international stage.


Middle East Online

Unlikely but

JERUSALEM - A third Palestinian intifada is "unlikely" this year, according to an internal report by Israel's foreign ministry, which says the Palestinians will instead seek diplomatic isolation of the Jewish state.

"This report, which is more than 100 pages long, judges that an explosion of generalised violence in the form of a third intifada is unlikely," said an official, who described the report to AFP on condition of anonymity.

The report, he said, is produced by the ministry's intelligence service and was recently given to the government.

"The editors of this document were charged with a round-up of the past year and envisaging different scenarios for the current year," he said.

"For the Palestinians, they judged that they will continue to seize all opportunities to isolate Israel on the international stage," he added, referring in particular to Palestinian efforts to obtain full United Nations membership.

"There is little chance that negotiations will resume to the extent that the Arab regimes do not support dialogue with Israel, either because they are weakened, like Saudi Arabia, or they are in the process of Islamisation," he said.

"The document also states that the Palestinians have no negotiations plan or proposed political settlement -- their sole goal is to put pressure on Israel."

The report covers both internal Palestinian politics and regional changes in the wake of the Arab Spring, according to the source and reports in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

It judges the reconciliation between the Fatah movement led by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Islamist group Hamas, and their attempts to form an interim government of independents, as "little more than a facade," he said.

"Hamas will never let the Palestinian Authority set foot in Gaza again and the Palestinian Authority has no intention of making a place for Hamas in the West Bank."

According to Haaretz, the report also warns that the rise of a new government in post-revolution Egypt could affect future Israeli offensives.

"Incidents deemed provocative, such as a military operation in Gaza or in the Sinai, will likely lead to a tougher, sharper response than in the past," the newspaper quoted the report as saying.

And on Iran, the document reportedly warns that Tehran will seek to continue with its nuclear programme, which Israel fears masks a weapons drive, despite international sanctions, paying "prices it perceives as tolerable."


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