Clashes in West Bank signals increased tension

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-2-27 9:41:46

Clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian demonstrators in the last couple of days signal increased tension in the West Bank, analysts said.

Two Israeli soldiers and 11 Palestinians, including children, were injured on Monday as thousands of Palestinians turned up at the funeral of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian man who died in Israeli prison last week.

An official Israeli report claimed that the cause of Jaradat's death could not be established, but noted that two ribs were broken, a sign of attempts to resuscitate him. Palestinian officials, however, suggested that he had suffered violence from Israeli security forces.

Israel has been involved in a number of major conflicts with Hamas and other Palestinian groups in Gaza over the past few years, while the Fatah-governed West Bank has remained largely quiet since the end of the second intifada in 2005.

In spite of recent flare-up, the relations between Israel and Palestinian National Authority (PNA) remain stable, analysts told Xinhua.

Dr. Shmuel Bar, of the Interdisciplinary-Center in Herzliya, predicted that there might be demonstrations for a couple of days, but then the situation would cool down.

Shlomo Gazit, who spent 33 years in Israeli military before becoming an academic in the Institute for National Security Studies of Tel Aviv University, told Xinhua on Tuesday that there are a number of factors that might spark new tensions at any given moment, such as potential rocket attacks by Gaza militants.

"We are living in a permanent state of potential uprisings," Gazit said.

Even in the event of military conflicts with Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, Israel tends to treat West Bank and Gaza differently, therefore is unlikely to launch strikes against West Bank, the analysts said.

Posted in: Mid-East

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