A senior Palestinian official said that some members of Fatah, the party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, want to escalate the ongoing wave of terror against Israelis by orchestrating suicide bombings, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.
The official, who remained anonymous, warned in an interview with Israel Radio that the Tanzim terrorist group, which was formed by Yasser Arafat in 1995 and carried out multiple lethal attacks against Israeli civilians during the second intifada, will “sooner or later” have to take part in the current spate of assaults.
“We have no choice. And when it happens – all of the rules of the game will change,” he said. “Hamas will feel more free to act as well. What’s happening now is just the tip of the iceberg.”
The official explained that a return to suicide attacks might come if various Palestinian terrorist factions join the wave of violence, which has hitherto been characterized by lone-wolf attacks, and begin vying for popular support. A study in Mosaic last month found that over the past decade, an average of 59% of Palestinians believed that suicide bombings against civilians were often or sometimes justified. A poll released earlier this month revealed that two-thirds of Palestinians support knife attacks against Israelis.
According to the official, the majority of Fatah’s leadership is content to “wait and see which way the wind is blowing” in regards to the current spate of violence. The PA, which Fatah runs, is bound under the terms of the Oslo Accords to act against anti-Israel incitement and terror.
According to Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency medical service, 24 people have been killed and 259 wounded in over 150 terrorist attacks since September. A number of Israeli security experts and Palestinian activists have largely attributed the attacks to ongoing incitement by Palestinian leaders, including Abbas and other PA officials.
[Photo: Flash 90]