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Palestinian teen killed in Israeli raid as CIA fears another intifada

US CIA director Bill Burns said Tuesday that the current situation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories has a "very unhappy resemblance" to the second intifada.
Palestinian protesters burn tyres to block a road leading into Jericho in the occupied West Bank, on February 6, 2023, following a raid in town by Israeli forces.  (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

One Palestinian was killed and several others were arrested following Israeli security raids in the West Bank on Tuesday. The ongoing cycle of violence comes as the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) feared a repeat of the second Palestinian intifada (uprising) in 2000, which saw some of the deadliest violence in the conflict. 

The Palestinian Authority (PA) said 17-year-old Hamza Amjad al-Ashqar was killed in Nablus during an Israeli raid. The PA also reported three people were detained in Nablus, along with 19 in Jenin, two in Qalqiya and three in the Qalandiya refugee camp, according to the PA’s official Wafa news agency. 

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said early Tuesday morning that they arrested several people and confiscated weapons throughout the West Bank. The IDF said they were attacked with explosives while searching for a wanted individual in Qalandiya. 

In Nablus, the IDF said Molotov cocktails were thrown at them and that they shot a gunmen who fired at them, according to several tweets from the IDF’s Twitter account. 

Why it matters: Violence between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen has been ongoing for years in the West Bank. However, Israeli-Palestinian clashes are now occurring on an almost daily basis. Israel has been carrying out more raids since last year after an increase in attacks on Israelis. 

Tensions rose further when Israel’s new government took office in December. The government includes some right-wing Jewish nationalist ministers, most notably National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir. On Jan. 3, Ben-Gvir visited the Temple Mount, aka Al-Haram Al-Sharif, in Jerusalem. The site is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims, and is a frequent source of tension between Jewish nationalists and Palestinians. 

Ben-Gvir’s visit to the Temple Mount was reminiscent of then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon’s visit in 2000. Sharon’s visit to the holy site helped kick off the second intifada. 

On Jan. 27, a Palestinian from east Jerusalem opened fire on a synagogue, killing several Jewish Israelis. 

US CIA director Bill Burns said Tuesday that the current situation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories has a "very unhappy resemblance" to the second intifada. Burns made the remarks at an event held by Georgetown University, The Times of Israel reported. 

“I was a senior US diplomat 20 years ago during the second intifada, and I’m concerned — as are my colleagues in the intelligence community — that a lot of what we’re seeing today has a very unhappy resemblance to some of those realities that we saw then too,” Burns was quoted as saying. The CIA chief visited Israel and the West Bank last month and met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. 

Know more: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a phone call with United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Monday. The two discussed the “need for Israelis and Palestinians to urgently take steps to prevent further escalation of violence and restore calm,” according to a release from the US State Department. 

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