JERUSALEM (Oct. 17)
Israeli security forces are girding for a major escalation of violence in the next two months, as the second anniversary of the Palestinian uprising approaches.
Instead of allowing negotiations, the Palestine Liberation Organization has opted for more confrontation, the Israelis say.
The signals are clear in the hard-line resolutions adopted by the PLO’s Central Council at the conclusion of its two-day meeting in Baghdad on Monday.
The council reportedly discussed ways to intensify the intifada, including the use of firearms, which it has ruled out until now.
The Israeli defense establishment predicts serious disturbances on dates laden with historical and emotional significance for Palestinians.
They include Nov. 14, the first anniversary of the proclamation of a Palestinian state by the Palestine National Council in Algiers last year; Nov. 29, the 42nd anniversary of the U.N. General Assembly’s 1947 decision to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states; and Dec 9, the second anniversary of the outbreak of the intifada in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In the last two years, Israel Defense Force reservists have borne the brunt of duty in the territories. From now on, IDF regulars will take over to a greater extent, to allow the reservists more time for training.
This would indicate that security planners see no speedy end to the uprising, a view borne out by the stalemated political situation.
CONDITIONS ISRAEL CAN’T ACCEPT
The PLO Central Council adopted resolutions in Baghdad setting preconditions for a Palestinian dialogue with Israel, which it knew very well Israel would never accept.
The PLO demanded the sole right to determine who will sit on the Palestinian delegation. It insisted that the members represent the “Palestinian diaspora,” as well as the territories.
Israel has ruled out any negotiations whatsoever with the PLO and refuses to talk with Palestinians who are not residents of the West Bank or Gaza Strip.
The PLO demands an open agenda for talks without preconditions. Israel insists the only subject will be its proposal for Palestinian elections in the territories.
The only area of agreement between the PLO and Israel is their rejection of U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s five-point proposal for an Israeli-Palestinian meeting in Cairo.