In a recent interview with Ma’an news agency, the Palestinian Authority’s governor to Jerusalem warned that the planned demolition of 100 Palestinian homes and the displacement of nearly 1,000 people in the occupied Jerusalem area would certainly increase the growing possibility of a third Intifada. “It is now clear to the international community, and our position within the Palestinian Authority is very clear – no negotiations, no peace process with settlements,” he stressed.
There is a great fear that the Israeli plan, which some have described as “slow-motion ethnic cleansing”, is now augmenting into a fast-paced settlement project. These worries have been confirmed by the Israeli “Peace Now” movement, in a press release, issued on March 2.
“The Ministry of Construction and Housing is planning to construct at least 73,300 housing units in the West Bank ,” Peace Now reported. It further stated that the plans outlined in the Israeli Ministry of Housing report “represent only a small part of the total number of the plans existing in the settlements”.
“At least 15,000 housing units have already been approved and plans for an additional 58,000 housing units are yet to be approved,” said the group, which also concluded that of the units already approved by the Israeli government, nearly 9,000 have been built. “If all the plans are realized, the number of settlers in the territories will be doubled.”
It follows that the construction of thousands of units will lead to permanent demographic realities in the West Bank that would strongly impede any possibility of Palestinian statehood, according to the standard “vision” of a two-state solution.
The new illegal units are built on stolen land, illegally confiscated from their rightful Palestinian owners. With such a move, Israel purposely renders the so-called two-state solution permanently incapacitated, while insisting that a one-state solution is the equivalent to the “annihilation” of the Jewish state. Israel is once again molding the very desperate environment that led to the revolts of 1987 and 2000, at the cost of thousands of lives.
So, what is a nation to do under such circumstances? Can stone throwing, general strikes and boycotting Israeli products deter such a scheme? More, what is the responsibility of the free world in this conflict? Will they sit by, as they did in the recent and tragic attacks on Gaza , and view the crimes from afar? Will they again expect Palestinians to bear down and endure such harsh and cruel realities, or will the onset of yet another popular revolution come as no surprise?
As for two generations of Palestinians who lived through the first and second Intifadas, scribing rebellious graffiti, hurling stones at occupying soldiers and refusing to buy the Israeli products that were imposed on them (while impeding the growth of Palestinian local industry) may not have unshackled a hostage nation.
Indeed, it may not in the future, but a third Intifada, in the eyes of many, could accomplish one vital task. It could provide the platform for the Palestinians to reclaim their unity (despite the prevailing factionalism of today) and declare that they will struggle until the day when they finally embrace freedom. If this is all that a third Intifada accomplishes, in the eyes of many Palestinians, then it is certainly a necessary and worthy endeavor. read article