With Benjamin Netanyahu back in power, tensions between Palestinians and Israeli occupation forces have shot up to the point that former Israeli military intelligence chief Tamir Hayman is warning that there are clear signs that a third Palestinian Intifada is on the way. Conditions in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem are growing more volatile by the minute. There has been a marked increase in Palestinian resistance operations, the latest of which was the twin bombing of Jerusalem bus stations that killed two Israelis and wounded dozens others. Palestinian fighters had also kidnapped the body of an Israeli soldier who had fallen in Jenin. Such actions are in retaliation for brutal attacks against Palestinians. There has been a sharp rise in assaults by Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians with 84 of such incidents occurring in Nablus alone in November.
The recent Knesset elections in Isreal have ensured that Netanyahu is backed by the most far-right political and religious forces in the country, especially those representing the settlers. Foremost among them is the ultra-right Otzma Yehudit Party headed by Itamar Ben-Gvir who has openly called for the expulsion of Palestinians and the killing of any who remain; Shas which represents ultra-orthodox Oriental Jews; and the Degel HaTorah, which represents ultra-orthodox Ashkenazi Jews. Undoubtedly, the inclusion of these extremist parties in the government that Netanyahu is in the process of forming will lead to more collective violence against the Palestinians and more assaults against Palestinian civilians, not to mention more seizures of Palestinian land and property and further expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, all of which is likely accelerate the anticipated outbreak of the third Palestinian Intifada.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 8 December, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly