Is a third Palestinian intifada on the way – or has it already begun?

Peter Beaumont writes: A weekend of febrile violence in the West Bank and east Jerusalem has led to growing fears of a third Palestinian intifada. One of the latest victims was a 13-year-old boy killed by Israeli forces during clashes outside a refugee camp in Bethlehem.

Abdel Rahman Shadi, who lived in Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, was struck in the chest by Israeli fire and died after undergoing emergency surgery in Beit Jala hospital on Monday – the second youth to be killed in 24 hours.

There is concern among diplomats and analysts in the region that the escalating violence could turn into a new intifada, or uprising. Four Israelis were killed in attacks by Palestinians on Friday and Saturday.

The front page of one mass-circulation newspaper on Sunday stated simply: “The Third Intifada.” Elsewhere in the Israeli media, columnists were more circumspect. Some asked whether the latest events fitted the pattern of the two previous intifadas, which began in 1987 and 2000, and if not, how the current escalation could be curbed before becoming one.

Not only in the Israeli media has the question been asked. The issue was given added urgency by the Facebook posting of Muhanad Halabi, a 19-year-old Palestinian student who stabbed two Israeli men to death in the Old City on Saturday, who linked his actions directly to a “third intifada”. [Continue reading…]

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