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Violent Arab riots are a “war” that was ordered by the PA leadership, says PA daily op-ed

Excerpt of an op-ed by Yahya Rabah, regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: “Netanyahu is smaller than his bets and Israel is weaker than its claims”

“Israel, from the first moment of its existence 73 years ago that we Palestinians document with the name the Nakba (i.e., “the catastrophe,” the Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel), is ceaselessly attempting to reduce Palestine to fabricated names and terms on its part – refugees and civilians, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, inside the Green Line (i.e., Palestinian term for Israel; the Green Line is the ceasefire line between Israel and the neighboring Arab countries, 1949-1967) and outside the Green Line. [These are] strange and foolish terms that the Palestinian people has not used, not even once, because Palestine has only one name and that is Palestine, and its people is the Palestinian people that has lived in it for more than 6,500 years (sic., the Palestinians have no history prior to modern times). Therefore, the Jerusalem uprising at the Damascus Gate [of Jerusalem’s Old City] was the beginning (refers to violent Arab riots; see note below -Ed.), the latest order that the Palestinian [PA] leadership issued its people that it declare a comprehensive popular war from the Damascus Gate in Al-Quds (i.e., Jerusalem), which is one of the most sacred beautiful holy names of Palestine.”

Green Line - 1949-1967 ceasefire line between Israel and the neighboring Arab countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) following Israel's War of Independence (1948-1949). Land within the Green Line is all part of the State of Israel since 1949. Land outside the Green Line includes East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights.

Fatah/Hamas Riot and Rocket War 2021 – On April 30, 2021, facing certain electoral defeat, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas cancelled the first PA elections scheduled in 15 years. Hamas, which expected to win the elections, denounced it as a “coup.” In need of a conflict to divert public discontent, Abbas artificially generated a crisis over Jerusalem. His Fatah party called for "raising the level of confrontation,” and Abbas' spokesman told Palestinians "the battle of all battles is here.” Jerusalem Arabs responded by attacking Jews with rocks and Molotov cocktails. Hamas, Abbas' political rival, could not allow Abbas to lead the battle, so on May 10, 2021, Hamas launched rocket barrages targeting Israeli population centers including Jerusalem. Over the next 11 days, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired over 4,300 rockets into southern and central Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing 9 Israelis and 3 foreign nationals, and wounding hundreds. In response, Israel launched Operation Guardian of the Walls to target Hamas terror leaders and terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Already in mid-April, a planned eviction of some Palestinian families illegally living in Jewish-owned buildings in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem had led to clashes between Palestinian residents and Israeli police. This dispute provided Palestinians with a pretext for violent rioting. Adding to the crisis, Israeli Arabs started rioting throughout Israel, especially in cities with a mixed Jewish and Arab population. Two Jews were murdered and many were wounded. According to Walla, an independent Israeli news site, 10 synagogues were wholly or partly burned down; fires were set in 112 Jewish homes and 1 Arab home mistaken for a Jewish home; 386 Jewish homes were plundered and 673 were damaged; 849 cars were set ablaze; and there were 5,018 rock-throwing attacks. In response, Jews started attacking Arabs and their properties as well, but on a much smaller scale. No mosques were burned; 13 Arab homes were damaged; 13 Arab-owned cars were burned; and there were 41 rock-throwing attacks by Jews. [Walla, May 16, 2021] The fighting between Israel and Hamas ended with a ceasefire on May 21, 2021.