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Iran stakes out position ahead of PA collapse

Iran's renewed interest in the occupied territories indicates that, unlike Israel, it is preparing for the possible collapse of the Palestinian Authority.
Iranian worshippers wave Palestinian flags during a protest against Israel's attacks on Gaza, after Friday prayers in Tehran, January 2, 2009. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN) - RTR22ZRW

Five months ago this week, the “individual intifada” erupted. Since then, Israel has been staying the course, believing that it can contain the unrest as long as armed Palestinian organizations and armed members of the Palestinian Authority (PA) stay out of it.

But two separate statements this week — one from Beirut and the other from Jerusalem — cast doubt on the assumption that this policy will be able to prevent the unrest from escalating into widespread violence. Such a shift would require Israel to dramatically change its deployment of troops and resources.

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