Hebron’s governor said Sunday that the Palestinian leadership was not interested in a third intifada, despite rising tensions in the divided city and the recent establishment of a new group committed to an uprising against Israel.
Khamel Hamid noted on Voice of Palestine radio that there were other, peaceful, ways to protest. He added that the Palestinians wouldn’t let Israel erode the shaky status quo in the West Bank.
On Friday, a group of Palestinian youths from divergent political streams formed the “National Unity Brigades,” which said it was already fighting a third intifada, or uprising.
The impetus for the group developed against the background of recent flare-ups between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, which have ramped up throughout the West Bank since last month’s mini-war with Gaza.
Hebron played a central role in the past week’s unrest, which saw the shooting of a Palestinian teenager by a border policewoman when he threatened a soldier with a gun — later found to be fake — and supporters of Hamas marching in the streets.
The National Unity Brigades is made up of youngsters who identify with the terror groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who joined up with Fatah, according to a video uploaded to the Internet on Friday, in order to fight against Israel.
“This is the beginning of the third Palestinian intifada, which erupts from the heart of Hebron and spreads to all of Palestine,” they said.
The Palestinians engaged Israel in two bloody intifadas, first in the late 1980s and early 1990s and then a decade later. Israeli officials have feared a third intifada could break out in the West Bank, though military officials say they have control of the situation in the territory.