Guest post by Challah Hu Akbar, aka CHA or Challah
CHALLAH @ Ynet
The defense establishment has been careful not to overstate the significance of the recent – growing – wave of unrest sweeping the West Bank, but according to IDF Ezion Sector Commander Colonel Yaniv Alaluf, the third intifada has already begun.
"We're no longer on the verge of a third intifada – it's already here. We anticipate many more (clashes) from now on," he said. Speaking to troops and reservists assigned to the sector, Alaluf qualified his daunting prediction, saying that "We may not be facing thousands of demonstrators storming border fences with AK-47s, but that doesn’t diminish the seriousness of the situation."
…Alaluf's assessment of the situation was a pessimistic one: "The process lead by Abu Mazen is over, replaced by the attitude promoted by Hamas. Abu Mazen is trying to survive the Arab Spring and he understands that the path of negotiations with Israel is over. "The question is – what will follow? We may see regional anarchy along a military campaign of our own."
…But not all is bleak: Alaluf was optimistic as to the IDF's ability to deal with terrorist threats, saying he does not foresee a string of suicide attacks, which became the gruesome hallmark of the al-Aqsa Intifada. "The third intifada won't be like the second one, which surprised us. We're ahead of the game now and terror won't be able to slither up to central Israel because we're better prepared."
…The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that, "The military does not comment on remarks made in closed forums."
The chances that a full-scale armed Intifada erupting in the West Bank are slim, but the chances for popular, simmering unrest with mass demonstrations are much higher, Shin Bet Chief Yoram Cohen was quoted as saying by Yedioth Ahronoth.