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Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations has published the Situation Assessment “The Events of al-Aqsa Mosque and the Struggle Situation… Analysis of Scenarios and Expected Paths,” by Sari Orabi, in Arabic.

The assessment analyzes the struggle situation of the West Bank (WB) in general, and Jerusalem in particular, considering it a series of uprisings that have started with the Jerusalem Uprising in October 2015.

As this year’s Ramadan coincided with the Jewish holidays, the Israeli occupation began to prepare early for the possibility of escalation. However, in this case, it was because it was keen to establish the colonial state in the Old City and al-Aqsa Mosque, by normalizing daily storming and the intrusions during Islamic occasions. It is part of the Israeli colonial policies that want to absorb the shock waves of the Palestinian uprisings. Therefore, this Ramadan, following the success of al-Murabitun (defenders of al-Aqsa) in stopping the storming of May/ Ramadan 2021, which led to the Sword of Jerusalem Battle (dubbed by Israel Operation Guardian of the Walls), Israel once again encouraged incursions.

Click here to download the full “Situation Assessment” in arabic:

>>Situation Assessment: The Events of al-Aqsa Mosque and the Struggle Situation.. Analysis of Scenarios and Expected Paths (Arabic) (23 pages, 1.9 MB)
By: Sari Orabi. (Exclusively for al-Zaytouna Centre).

The assessment addresses the three scenarios that were expected before the clashes took place. The first scenario expected wide spread escalation would take place; the second expected increasing but limited escalation that would not be limited to al-Aqsa mosque clashes; and the third expected the escalation to be limited to a certain time and then it would fade away. However, neither of the first two scenarios was likely, due to several factors including the position of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is against the idea of confrontations; the weakness of the organizational structures of the resistance factions; and the calculations of the resistance in Gaza Strip (GS) concerning the regional and international conditions.

The most likely scenario was the third one, since the confrontations lacked the objective conditions for escalation, and given the good Israeli multi-level preparations that preceded the events.

What actually happened, until the end of the critical period (April 15 to April 22), is that the confrontations did not reach the degree of previous uprisings, neither locally in Jerusalem, nor at the level of WB, or even Palestine. The intensity of the situation was less than that during March and early April 2022, when a series of resistance operations intensified.

The assessment discusses the three scenarios, analyzing the factors that would have pushed towards escalation, and Israel’s measures to contain them. It suggests a fourth one that notices an already existing struggle situation, adaptive to the complex political, social, economic and security conditions in WB, however, it has a clear weakness due to the lack of organizational readiness. Therefore, the escalation of struggle is dependent on factors that are difficult to monitor, such as the circumstances of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque, lone wolf attacks, limited organizational developments, or unexpected factors that would take the struggle situation into a new level.

The assessment indicates that the possibility of an escalation with the resistance in GS or with the northern borders cannot be ignored, which would reflect on the situation in WB in general, and Jerusalem in particular. The focus would be on West Bank and Jerusalem, as it is the most capable of accommodating, organizing and developing popular resistance with multiple tools. It is also capable to relatively continue, without a huge drain to the social environment, unlike GS, whose resistance is limited to being a semi-regular armed one, linked to a local authority, thus making its confrontations with the occupation a war that the social environment and geopolitics cannot bear for long periods, and cannot renew in short time.

Based on the above, the assessment provides recommendations related to the PA; the Palestinian factions—especially the resistance ones; the Palestinian society; and the cadres of the resistance factions in WB and Jerusalem, who are subject to continuous attrition.

As for the PA, the assessment believes that the leadership of the current authority would not likely to push for a serious confrontation with the occupation, even if it was carefully calculated and even if it provided the PA with tools of pressure and political maneuvering that would eventually improve its political position.

The assessment considers the PA’s current policies, a major obstacle to the development of uprisings in WB. Not only because of its security policies, rather due to its overall structure and the resulting economic and social policies that prevent the masses from carrying out their duty of struggle.

As for the Palestinian factions, the assessment indicates a weakness in the organizational preparedness, which affected the level of their presence in the uprisings in WB, including Jerusalem. Nevertheless, there were some attempts that contributed to the escalations, while others were quickly dismantled.

Regarding the Palestinian society, the “social engineering” policies that have been implemented on the Palestinians during the past years had a strong impact that cannot be denied. For the Palestinian arena was dismantled and emptied from mobilization platforms, and at the same time, there was weakness in the plans to strengthen the steadfastness of the people who would replenish the loss of resistance cadres. In this context, the assessment adds that for people to stay in al-Aqsa mosque and be always ready to defend it (aka Ribat), especially during morning incursions, they need to be full-timers. Thus, having constant readiness for organized struggle.

Click here to download the full “Situation Assessment” in arabic:

>>Situation Assessment: The Events of al-Aqsa Mosque and the Struggle Situation.. Analysis of Scenarios and Expected Paths (Arabic) (23 pages, 1.9 MB)
By: Sari Orabi. (Exclusively for al-Zaytouna Centre).

Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations, 29/4/2022

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