|Abbas' Palestinian Authority is cooking up a crisis prior to President Obama's visit to Israel. Abbas has a strong interest in shifting Obama's discussion with Israel from the Iranian threat.|
Gaza Palestinians Fire Rocket at Ashkelon -Yaakov Lappin
Palestinian terrorists broke a three-month ceasefire and fired a rocket from Gaza at Ashkelon, causing damage to a road, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades took responsibilty for the attack.
Palestinian Rioters Attack Israeli Soldiers -Khaled Abu Toameh
At Rachel's Tomb near Bethlehem some 150 Palestinians hurled firebombs and rocks at IDF soldiers. Rioters also hurled improvised grenades, which endangered the lives of worshipers at the scene, security sources said. The IDF confirmed that a 16-year-old Palestinian, who was shot in the head by a rubber bullet, was part of a group trying to set the guard tower by Rachel's Tomb on fire. Another Palestinian seen hurling a grenade was shot in the leg.
Abbas' Gamble - Editorial
The unfortunate death of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian arrested last week for throwing rocks at Israeli cars, has triggered violence around the West Bank. An autopsy performed by the Health Ministry found that Jaradat died of heart failure and that signs of violence on his body, including broken ribs, were from resuscitation attempts.
Instigating violence on the West Bank will not change the underlying causes of the stalled peace process. While limited rioting could get the U.S. and Europe to renew pressure on Israel, if Abbas plays his hand wrong and the unrest deteriorates into a third intifada, he could lose control of the situation, lose the presidency and ruin any chances for peace for years to come.
Abbas Fans the Flames -Dan Margalit
There is no reason to doubt the findings of the autopsy on Palestinian detainee Arafat Jaradat conducted at Israel's Abu Kabir Forensic Institute. There are no signs that he was tortured during his interrogation. However, this fact did not prevent the PA from announcing that Jaradat was tortured by the Israelis. Even if Abbas wants to resume negotiations with Israel, the steps he has taken recently have pushed that goal farther away.
Palestinian Authority Orchestrating West Bank Unrest -Ron Ben-Yishai
The current unrest in the territories is being orchestrated, to a large extent, by the Palestinian Authority. Fatah, which is the PA's political base, fears losing its dominance over the West Bank, so it must appear to be just as militant as Hamas in Gaza. The reason the unrest has intensified recently is that the Palestinians want to create an explosive situation ahead of President Obama's upcoming visit to the region. Abbas is interested in creating an atmosphere that will force Netanyahu and Obama to discuss the Palestinian demands.
At the same time, memories of the second intifada are restraining the street. Most of the rioters are young people who were children during the second intifada. Most of those who remember the events of that period are not rushing to the streets. For now, the unrest has yet to develop into a popular uprising. At the same time, the IDF is much better prepared to effectively deal with the rioters.
No Evidence Palestinian Inmate Was Victim of Violence
- Judy Siegel-Itzkovich
There was no evidence of poisoning or physical violence against Arafat Jaradat, the Palestinian prisoner who was found dead in his Megiddo Prison cell last week, according to an autopsy report released by the Israel Health Ministry on.
Fractures in the ribs and hemorrhages on the skin were typical of people who undergo intensive resuscitation in an attempt to save their lives. Resuscitation was performed for 50 minutes by prison physicians and Magen David Adom paramedics. PA President Mahmoud Abbas called for an international inquiry into Jaradat's death, saying he had been "assassinated" and was tortured.