'Third Intifada' Goal

Pressure United States to Pressure Israel

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Far from a noble undertaking, the sole goal of the so-called "Third Intifada" is strictly political: pressure the United States to pressure Israel.

So writes Khaled Abu Toameh in an opinion piece for the Gatestone Institute.

Protests have erupted across the West Bank in recent weeks, supposedly in protest of conditions for Palestinians in Israeli jails. But the real reason, Abu Toameh writes, is the upcoming visit of U.S. President Barack Obama.

The officials hope that scenes of daily clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians in the West Bank will prompt Obama to exert pressure on the Israeli government to make far-reaching concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

This is why the Palestinian Authority leadership has been encouraging its constituents lately to wage a "popular intifada" against Israel, each time finding another excuse to initiate confrontations between Palestinians and Israel.

Now the Palestinian Authority is using the issue of Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike in Israeli prisons as an excuse to call for street protests and clashes with the Israel Defense Forces.

Before the protests over Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinian Authority encouraged protests over the issue of Israeli building in the West Bank. Before that, the issue was Israel's supposed plan to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque, which was built exactly on top of the ruins of the Jewish Temple.

But with President Obama's planned trip to the region in March, the Palestinians have a perfect opportunity to manipulate the world's media and the U.S. President by portraying Israel as the evil aggressor that does not want peace. Hence, the protests.

The only hope is that the U.S. president will see through the tactic. Even better, let's hope he condemns it.

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