"Although the Palestinian Authority probably does not want an all-out confrontation between Palestinians and Israelis at this stage, some Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah believe that a 'mini-intifada' would serve the Palestinians' interests, especially on the eve of Obama's visit.
"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.
"...By encouraging a 'popular intifada,' the Palestinian Authority leadership is hoping to bring the Palestinian issue back to the top of the agenda of the US Administration and Israel.
"Palestinian Authority officials have in recent months expressed concern over the lack of interest in the Palestinian issue both in the US and Israel.
"The Palestinians have been absent from speeches delivered by Obama over the past few months, and the majority of parties that ran in the last Israeli elections did not even mention the Palestinian issue.
"But now that all eyes are once again turned toward the Middle East in anticipation of Obama's planned visit, the Palestinian Authority is working hard to draw the world's attention to the Palestinian issue, and hoping to achieve its goal by encouraging clashes between Palestinian protesters and the IDF and Jewish settlers in the West Bank.
"Although the violence has thus far remained on a low flame, it is expected to intensify as the date of Obama's visit approaches." (Emphasis added)
Note that Abu Toameh says, "...the Palestinian Authority probably does not want an all-out confrontation between Palestinians and Israelis at this stage," which means they may seek a larger confrontation later.
But even if the PA intends to foment only a "mini" intifada, matters could well get out of hand.
What fascinates me is that the PA believes that by behaving violently they can gain points with Obama. They are not necessarily wrong. But how perverse is this situation. Violence works. The Palestinian Arabs should receive concessions when they've put aside violence, and show eagerness for genuine compromise, and only then.
A Grad Katyusha rocket was fired from Gaza into Ashkelon this morning. The first time that this has happened since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense in November. No one was injured but a road was damaged.
A connection between this and the increased violence in Judea and Samaria?
According to several sources, Assad has fled from the border area of the Golan, which is now controlled by rebel forces.
“The regime wants the rebels to take control of all villages on the border area so that Israel intervenes in the conflict, and then Assad can accuse Israel of conspiring against him,” according to Aiman Abu-Jable, an anti-Assad activist on the Israeli side of the Golan.
See here for further details:
There are reports that Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah has flown to Iran for treatment for cancer. According to the Voice of Lebanon, he has severe cancer-related complications. Hezbollah is denying that he has died.
Top of the list in terms of our smoldering world is Iran/Hezbollah. But the subject is sufficiently complex so that I have decided to table serious discussion for my next posting.
I will close with a very positive, inspiring Youtube -- "This is Israel: Resilience." We have so very much to be proud of. With all the frustrations, Israelis are special.