Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tensions All Over the Place

Things are getting hot over here. I've been reading lately some interesting opinion columns from local writers who think the third intifada is about to start, and if things keep going as they have been, that may well happen.

Firstly, Israel sealed off the West Bank beginning on Thursday and plan to keep it that way until at least Wednesday. What that means is that some Palestinians who are usually allowed to cross the checkpoints in order to pray at Al-Aqsa mosque will not be allowed to do so until the closure is over. Women are allowed to cross as usual but only men over 50 will be allowed during the closure.

This Ynet article describes five incidents of violence this week, which is not alltogether out of the ordinary, but one of those incidents was at the Old City's Damascus Gate, which is not usually a site of tension.

Recently there was also an incident of stone throwing and other tomfoolery at Al-Aqsa. The closure is a result of Israeli intelligence getting information that such an event was going to happen again this past weekend.
The decision was based on police intelligence received on a group of Arab youths planning to enter Temple Mount and causing disturbances. Accordingly, the Jerusalem District Police and Border Guard will deploy in force around the Temple Mount complex and the alleys of Jerusalem's Old City.
Speaking of Israeli intelligence, this other article brags about the intelligentsia's ability to preempt bad stuff.
The IDF emphasized that Udda's arrest illustrates the freedom the military enjoys in the West Bank and the precise intelligence hold it has which enables such arrests. "Anti-terror activity is constantly ongoing. We take action against anyone involved in terror now and against elements that were involved in terror in the past and have yet to be brought to justice. This is the approach that guides us, and will continue to guide us," an IDF source said.
This was in reference to the arrest of Maher Udda, a Hamas big fish that they consider the last man they were seeking in connection with the second intifada's terror attacks.

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