In the wake of the Oct. 1 attack in Samaria, where Naama and Eitam Henkin were murdered — after which the current wave of terror in Israel broke out — I held talks with several senior Palestinian security officials as well as with a host of veteran Palestinian journalists from the volatile city of Hebron. Everyone was certain beyond any shadow of a doubt that despite the swelling frustration and despair in the West Bank, the people were too weary to embark on a third intifada. One senior Palestinian Authority official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “If [President] Mahmoud Abbas doesn’t want an intifada, there won’t be an intifada.” He was basing himself on the assumption that even if the Palestinians do not like Abbas, the security agencies and the Palestinian establishment have the ground under their firm control. Appearing to make sense and sounding substantiated, those arguments were cited in Al-Monitor's piece titled “Will there be a third intifada?”
Today, in the wake of three very bloody weeks and dozens of attacks and attempted attacks it is abundantly clear that the people on the ground are speaking a different language and do not adhere to the wishes of senior PA officials who have pulled out all the stops to avert a violent uprising. Indeed, in contrast to the second intifada, there are no mass demonstrations throughout the West Bank but rather a small number of confined clashes with Israel Defense Forces troops at flash points. However, the number of terrorists who committed stabbing or vehicular attacks this past month is similar to the number of attacks during the entire second intifada, which was instigated and supported by the Palestinian organizations.