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Israeli Security Sources Anticipate Third Intifada

As the deadlock in negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians persists, the signs of a popular uprising in the West Bank can already be sensed, writes Reuven Pedatzur. 
A Palestinian stone-throwing protester uses a sling to throw back a tear gas canister fired by Israeli security officers (rear) during clashes after a rally marking the 48th anniversary of the founding of the Fatah movement, in the West Bank village of Bilin near Ramallah, January 4, 2013. REUTERS/Ammar Awad (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
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It is twenty-five years now since the first intifada broke out. At the time, it took the top echelons of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Shin Bet by surprise. None of the top brass in either organization had anticipated the possibility of a large-scale and violent popular uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In fact, they missed the early signs portending a flare-up. Alas, the parties concerned also failed to learn their lesson, and 13 years later, the IDF and Shin Bet were once again caught off guard when the second intifada, which was by far more violent, erupted in late September 2000.

Now, after another dozen years has passed, it seems that no one will be surprised when the third intifada breaks out. Senior members of the IDF and the Shin Bet are no longer wondering whether another popular uprising will erupt, but rather ask, “When will it happen?" According to their evaluations, if the policy of the Israeli government on the Palestinian issue does not change, and the political stalemate persists, a new round of violence is inevitable.

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