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Israel analysts warn of ‘four front’ escalation with Palestinians

sraeli security forces fire at Palestinians during a demonstration in Ramallah, West Bank, on 23 July 2017 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
sraeli security forces fire at Palestinians during a demonstration in Ramallah, West Bank, on 23 July 2017 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli analysts have warned of a potential “four fronts” escalation with the Palestinians.

According to a report in Ynet, the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, as well as Palestinian prisoners, are all arenas which “are extremely volatile for different reasons”.

In the West Bank, analysts point to economic hardship in light of the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s rejection of monthly tax revenues, following Israeli punitive deductions.

The Israeli report claimed that senior PA officials believe the financial deficit “is only expected to deepen, adversely impacting the Palestinian defence establishment and its intelligence outreach in the West Bank, and even helping Hamas to establish military infrastructure across the territories.”

READ: PA, Hamas officials both warn Israel of escalation

In the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, the report noted how night-time confrontations have increased, as well as Israeli military strikes on Hamas positions in the blockaded enclave.

In East Jerusalem, Palestinian worshippers and the Waqf are determined to keep open a formerly-shuttered portion of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound – Bab Al-Rahma – which Israeli occupation authorities have ordered be closed again.

The article notes that Israeli “police have carried out extensive arrests and issued restraining orders instructing senior Waqf officials as well as Palestinian activists to stay away” from the compound. Further protests are expected.

Finally, the report highlights the decision by Israel’s Public Security Ministry “to install cell phone jammers” in prisons holding Palestinian prisoners, prompting protests. There is the prospect of further unrest, and a hunger-strike.

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