Are we heading towards a third intifada ?

Unfortunately, we are not surprised to witness a situation in which, once again, the occupied territories are on the brink of explosion. We have repeated again and again that offering only a status quo perspective to Israelis and Palestinians as a political future— which Benyamin Netanyahu has done for many years—is like playing with fire. Thinking that Israel and the West Bank might be a privileged island of safety and stability in a region plagued by chaos for four years already is once again evidence of a perilous cecity.

Today, violence has reached new heights with the murder of Eitam and Naama Henkin, killed last week in front of their four children on a road of the West Bank, and then, on the seventh evening of Sukkot, with the stabbing to death of Jews going to the Western Wall with their families, and everybody fears the eruption of a third intifada. But these terrorist acts, probably planned ahead by Hamas, at least for one of them, like the numerous incidents occuring every day, only reflect the despair of the Palestinian people which, as usual, plays in the hands of extremists.

However, while we strongly condemn these terrorist acts, which Mahmoud Abbas did not do, we cannot ignore the series of events that led to this situation: the continued colonization of Palestinian land, the death of several Palestinians killed these last months by the army, such as the death of Ahmed Khatatbeh who, being deaf, coul not hear the order to stop at a roadblock, the fact that those responsible for the Duma attack —during which a Palestinian family was burned to death—were not arrested, while they are known to all, as the Minister of Defence has said himself… It is time to draw a conclusion from this endless complaint in which each camp makes an issue of its own victims compared to the other’s.

In spite of all appeals for calm we start to hear on the side of the Palestinian Authority that, more and more criticized by its population, has during several weeks encouraged demonstrations on the Temple Mount, the situation can quickly get out of hand. The Israeli Prime Minister, criticized by his extreme right allies, and even in his own Party, finds it increasingly difficult to contain his extremists. In the current context, while incidents took place in Jaffa, we have all reasons to fear the consequences of a third intifada which would only serve the interests of Islamist forces in the region.

For this reason, having an ear open to a majority of Israelis and Palestinians who wish a return to calm and who hope to see one day the end of this conflict, we address European and American leaders to ask them to restart an official process in the Midlde East in the near future, and now that an agreement has been reached on the nuclear Iranian issue, to make it at last a priority for the Western diplomacy.

 We call on the French government to submit to the Security Council the resolution it has been preparing for months.

 We call upon the Obama Administration not to veto that resolution which would have the advantage of establishing the framework and the parameters of the solution of the conflict in order to save the Two State Solution.  

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