Dec. 7, 2017
Palestinian Reactions on Jerusalem – “Popular Protests” Are Not Spontaneous – Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi
President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been met with Palestinian threats of violence. The Hamas newspaper Felesteen reported on Dec. 4 that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority had agreed on the need for mass protest activities throughout the territories in response to the American move. Senior officials in the PA and Hamas have openly warned of undermining the stability in the territories and the entire Middle East. These warnings show once more that the “spontaneous popular protests” emerge from pre-planning by the senior echelons of the Palestinian leadership.
Any delay of the American decision on Jerusalem will strengthen the Palestinian (and Arab) leadership’s view that the Trump administration is limited in its ability to exert effective pressure on the Palestinians because of their “deterrent power” of violence and terror that will undermine regional stability. The writer, a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center, is co-founder of the Orient Research Group Ltd.(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)