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Israel: former Netanyahu aide threatens ‘Defensive Shield II’ in occupied West Bank

February 1, 2023 at 12:00 pm

People, holding Palestinian flags, gather to protest in Jaffa, Israel against Israeli forces raid on the refugee camp and killing of 9 Palestinians in Jenin, West Bank, on January 28, 2023. [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

A former senior security aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened the Palestinian Authority with a “Defensive Shield II” military offensive in the occupied West Bank if no action is taken to stop Palestinian resistance.

“It is a dangerous game,” Ben-Shabbat told the Times of Israel. “If it [Palestinian resistance] is intended as a lever to pressure Israel, it is dangerous for [Mahmoud Abbas] first and foremost.”

He said that if Abbas does not take more forceful measures against the Palestinian resistance, the Israeli occupation army could be forced to carry out a major military operation in the West Bank, as it did in 2002 at the height of the Second Intifada.

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“Abu Mazen remembers well the days of Operation Defensive Shield,” explained Netanyahu’s former aide. “He does not want to get there, but it will get there. Israel’s security services have a primary responsibility to protect Israeli lives. If we get to a situation where we need to do that, we will.”

The PA simply does not do its part, claimed Ben-Shabbat. “It does not want to be in conflict with anyone, so it lets the thugs in Nablus establish the Lion’s Den terror [sic] group, it lets the thugs in Jenin store weapons and take over the refugee camp. Then it leaves Israel to deal with the results.”

Resistance against a military occupation is legitimate under international law, observers have pointed out. This is something that the Israeli security and “self-defence” narrative ignores.

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