Former Shin Bet head warns of 'Palestinian Spring'
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Former Shin Bet head warns of ‘Palestinian Spring’

Former Shin Bet head warns of ‘Palestinian Spring’

Yuval Diskin says conditions in place for a massive uprising in West Bank; urges inclusion of Egypt and Jordan in peace talks

By Lazar Berman October 21, 2013

Amid rumors of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks hitting an impasse, and two days after Hamas called for a new violent uprising against Israel, a former head of the Shin Bet security agency warned Monday of the likelihood of a “Palestinian Arab Spring.”

“All of the conditions exist in our situation for the Palestinian masses to rise up,” Yuval Diskin told a conference at the Finance Ministry’s Budget Division. “In the West Bank, the intense tension and frustration is worsening among the Palestinians, who feel that their land is being stolen from them, that the state they strive for is getting further away, and the economy is no longer something that they can take comfort in.”

Diskin also called for Israel’s neighbors to be given an active role in the negotiations with the Palestinians.

“We must bring in Egypt and Jordan to the early stages of the negotiation process. Their entrance into this story will give [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas legitimacy to make critical decisions.”

Former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin speaks at the 'Suckers' movement demonstration in Tel Aviv on Saturday (photo credit: Tali Mayer/Flash90)

Former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin speaks in Tel Aviv in 2012(photo credit: Tali Mayer/Flash90)

Diskin struck a pessimistic note about Israelis’ confidence in the prospects of peace with the Palestinians. “It is also clear,” he said, that there was no chance of the Israeli public demanding a push for the peace process, “at least according to the political picture that emerges at the moment.”

The comments come three months into renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Only US Secretary of State John Kerry is authorized to report on progress at the negotiations, but insiders have been quoted repeatedly in Israeli and Palestinian media as saying that little headway is being made and no breakthrough appears imminent, and each side is blaming the other for the impasse.

Continue reading at Former Shin Bet head warns of ‘Palestinian Spring’ | The Times of Israel.

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