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PA, Hamas not interested in escalation

Feb. 26, 2013 7:13 P.M. (Updated: March 6, 2013 9:09 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – A third intifada is not likely to erupt in the occupied West Bank, neither a military confrontation is expected between Israel and the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, say Palestinian analysts.

Two local analysts highlighted Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank is not interested in a third intifada, because the results would be disastrous.

Similarly, Hamas is not interested in ending the ceasefire and resuming military confrontation with Israel forces.

“The missile fired Tuesday from the Gaza Strip was just a threat, but it can’t be seen as escalation against the Israeli occupation,” the Gaza-based analyst Talal Ukal told Ma’an.

He added that the Palestinian factions operating in the coastal enclave remained committed to the Egypt-brokered ceasefire, and “would tolerate Israel’s violations to a certain extent.”

Tension prevails in the West Bank, he added, because of the prisoners’ issue, the ongoing settlement expansion and settlers’ violence and the dire economic conditions. However, the political leadership are not willing to start an intifada, and Israel “is happy with appeasement and is not interested in escalation both in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.”

He added that by withholding Palestinian tax revenues, Israel plans to exert a certain degree of pressure on the PA, but not too huge that it leads to deterioration. Nevertheless, he said, Israel treats the Gaza Strip as an “enemy entity” so Israel is not concerned about ceasefire even if the Palestinians are concerned.

Similarly, Shakir Shubat, a West Bank analyst, says political leaders both in the West bank and in the Gaza Strip are not interested in confrontations with the occupation. “Hamas is not interested in either an armed or a popular intifada as the movement is trying to reach a security agreement and wouldn’t prefer warfare in Gaza.”

He added that Israel seeks to restore “warm relations with Egypt.” Israel, he said, is taking advantage of Egypt’s influence on Hamas to fight arm smuggling and to shut down smuggling tunnels. The Israelis succeeded to get the Egyptian government to take certain security procedures against Hamas which the former Egyptian regime has not done, such as destroying smuggling tunnels.
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