extract concessions from Israel (as if he needs any incentive to do that).
Although the Palestinian Authority probably does not want an all-out confrontation between Palestinians and Israelis at this stage, some Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah believe that a "mini-intifada" would serve the Palestinians' interests, especially on the eve of Obama's visit.The officials hope that scenes of daily clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians in the West Bank will prompt Obama to exert pressure on the Israeli government to make far-reaching concessions to the Palestinian Authority.This is why the Palestinian Authority leadership has been encouraging its constituents lately to wage a "popular intifada" against Israel, each time finding another excuse to initiate confrontations between Palestinians and Israel.Now the Palestinian Authority is using the issue of Palestinian prisoners who are on hunger strike in Israeli prisons as an excuse to call for street protests and clashes with the Israel Defense Forces.In recent days, dozens of Palestinian protesters have been injured in clashes with IDF soldiers in various parts of the West Bank. The protests are being held in solidarity with four hunger-strikers.Before that, the Palestinian Authority used the issue of settlements as an accuse to call for widespread protests in the West Bank.Before that, the Palestinian Authority leadership encouraged Palestinians to protest against Israeli "plans" to destroy the Aqsa Mosque and replace it with the Third Temple.By encouraging a "popular intifada," the Palestinian Authority leadership is hoping to bring the Palestinian issue back to the top of the agenda of the US Administration and Israel.The 'Palestinians' are also considering encouraging demonstrations against Obama while he is here in order to increase the pressure. In the meantime, with Obama arriving just a few days before Passover, Jews are likely to be too preoccupied to demonstrate en masse against Obama (Passover is one of two Jewish holidays nearly every Israeli Jew celebrates, even if they are totally secular the rest of the year).
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Labels: Abu Mazen» Obama