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Israeli security: Unrest, despair increasing in West Bank

Former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot warns that sanctions and despair may soon generate an outburst of violence in the West Bank.
A Palestinian woman prays on the first Friday of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City May 10, 2019. REUTERS/ Ammar Awad - RC12461F8A10
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What was considered until a few weeks ago an “estimate with high likelihood” by the Israeli security establishment has turned more into a certainty in the last few days. Experts say that unless necessary, immediate, and substantive steps are taken, a violent conflict with the Palestinian Authority is unavoidable. Former army Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot expressed this concern in a May 7 conversation in Washington with President Trump’s envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt. “The West Bank could erupt before, during or after the presentation of the American peace plan,” Eizenkot warned Greenblatt, according to a report on Channel 13, and “from the moment the genie is out of the bottle, it would take five years to get it back in.”

In other words, Eizenkot, who ended his term four months ago and is now working at the Washington Institute in the American capital, warns of an outbreak of an extended intifada. According to the report, the situation in the West Bank is “combustible and sensitive,” among other things, as a result of the American cut to foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority and the refusal of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to accept the authority’s tax revenues collected by Israel since Israel started deducting from them stipends paid by the authority to Palestinian prisoners.

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