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Palestinian leaders call for “a day of popular rage”

Headline: “The [Palestinian] National and Islamic Forces emphasize that the popular resistance activities are continuing”

“The [Palestinian] National and Islamic Forces emphasized that the popular resistance activities are continuing (refers to ongoing violent Arab riots; see note below -Ed.), with the participation of everyone and under the flag of Palestine in all districts of the homeland, [and] the confrontations with the occupation [are also continuing] in the seam areas, the settlements, and the military checkpoints.

Following a meeting that was held yesterday [May 24, 2021], the forces called to consider this Friday [May 28, 2021] as a day of popular rage, in order to expand the confrontation with the occupation and its settlers, in addition to the places where the weekly activities are continuing.”

Palestinian National and Islamic Forces - an unaffiliated coordinating body comprised of representatives from factions in the PLO and outside the PLO. The Palestinian National and Islamic Forces were established in 2000 shortly after the start of the PA terror campaign (the second Intifada, 2000-2005), under the authorization of Yasser Arafat and the leadership of terrorist Marwan Barghouti. During the PA terror campaign it played an active role in coordinating political efforts and terror attacks against Israel, but since the end of the campaign it has been less significant and its activity is primarily centered in Gaza.

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.

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