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PALESTINIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD SPOKESMAN CALLS FOR THIRD INTIFADA

Region of Concern: Palestine; Israel

Written By Iris Hautaniemi Forsberg; Edited by Salomon Montaguth, Cameron Munoz, Amy McGee and Jennifer Loy

Date: March 14, 2023


Flag of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad[1]


Event: On March 13, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist group urged Israeli Arabs to join for an armed uprising against Israel. The PIJ spokesman, Abu Hamza, said, "We call on all the fighters of our people and the free people in Judea and Samaria and in Israel to mobilize for this war, so that there will be an overall intifada that will create the basis for the end of our enemy and its expulsion from all of Palestine."[2] 80 Palestinians and 40 Israelis have died in conflicts between Israel and Palestine in the first few months of 2023, raising tensions between the two. This conflict is partially due to the unresolved question of the land of Palestine, resulting in violent clashes between different groups in the two countries. Palestinian and Israeli officials report increased smuggled weapons into the area and an increased effort to recruit young Palestinians to terror groups on social media. Several terror attacks this year have been executed by individuals who sympathize with terror groups like the PIJ but are not officially part of the group. Many fear that the violence will increase as the holy month of Ramadan and the Jewish Passover approach.[3]


Significance: The statement by the PIJ will likely lead to increased suicide attacks by individuals in Israeli-dominated areas. These attacks will likely be more difficult for the IDF to stop since they likely will be more spontaneous and executed by individuals who are not officially part of any organized group. The increase of smuggled weapons in the area will very likely lead to more deadly violence when Palestinians respond to IDF’s counterterrorism raids. As the violence towards Israelis grows, Jewish settlers will likely retaliate against Palestinian communities in the West Bank, resulting in deadly clashes between them. The ongoing protests over the judicial reform in Israel will likely affect the work of the IDF, making it difficult for them to control possible violence between the Jewish settlers and Palestinians. Mosques and other places of worship will likely be targeted by the IDF and Jewish settlers, resulting in calls for violence from Islamist terror groups operating outside of Palestine and Israel.


Recommendations: IDF should increase its social media monitoring and cooperate with the Palestinian Authority (PA) to receive intelligence about potential threats. The Israeli government and PA should also counter potential disinformation on social media with information campaigns to inform its citizens about possible dangers. IDF should refrain from targeting places of worship during Ramadan to avoid increasing tensions. IDF should also increase their presence in Palestinian communities close to Jewish settlements, and stop possible attacks from Jewish settlers. Through the United Security Council, the US and the international community should advocate for peaceful solutions and diplomacy to prevent further escalating violence. Human rights groups operating in the area should monitor potential abuses conducted by both sides.

 

[1]Flag of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine” by User:MrPenguin20 licensed under ​​CC BY-SA 3.0

[2] Islamic Jihad calls on Israeli Arabs to start another intifada, i24 News, March 2023, https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/middle-east/palestinian-territories/1678775841-islamic-jihad-calls-on-israeli-arabs-to-start-another-intifada

[3] A new intifada? Young Palestinian fighters rise as West Bank boils, Reuters, March 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/new-intifada-young-palestinian-fighters-rise-west-bank-boils-2023-03-14/

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