A Third Intifada? – EU Urges “Proportionate” Reaction to Violence

Written by | Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

There are growing concerns that the escalating violence in Israel could turn into another intifada. The recent wave of violence is the worst spell of street violence in a very long time. A series of attacks is believed to be triggered by increasing Jewish visits to the Al-Aqsa mosque. Palestinians think that the increased access is eroding the traditional Muslim religious control over the place. Israel commented that it was not planning to change the current status quo, which allows the Jews to visit the site but at the same time forbids any non-Muslim prayer. Palestinians have also called for a “Day of Rage” across the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza to be held today (13 October). At the same time, a number of Israeli Arab communities have been called for to organize a commercial strike in their municipalities.

EU’s chief diplomat, Federica Mogherini, was in touch with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, on Sunday (11 October) and emphasized that any possible reaction to the outburst of violence ought to be proportionate. Having talked with both leaders, Mrs Mogherini stressed the urgent need to avoid actions that could spark more violence. While she condemned the stabbings and attacks at the civilians, she reiterated that the only way to go about this crisis was to resume the political process.

The last negotiations in 2014 collapsed due to the Palestinian unwillingness to continue the seemingly never-ending talks that would enable Israelis to settle down in the West Bank Gaza and East Jerusalem. Palestinians want the eastern part of the ancient city to be their capital, including parts of the Old City. All these areas have been under Israeli control since the Six Day War of 1967.

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