Menu JTA Search

Third intifada’ seen unlikely

Palestinians are unlikely to launch another coordinated terror wave if the upcoming U.S.-sponsored peace conference with Israel fails, the Shin Bet security chief said.

Yuval Diskin told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in a briefing Monday that while disappointment at the Annapolis conference may stoke Palestinian terrorism, the elements necessary for another “intifada” are absent.

“It is my belief that the Palestinians are exhausted,” Diskin said, according to an official account of the closed-door briefing. “The populace lacks the necessary energy and the kind of leadership that would spur them on,” he added, in an apparent allusion to the late Yasser Arafat, who was the Palestinian Authority president when violence erupted in 2000.

Hamas has threatened a “third intifada” if there is no progress in the Palestinian drive for a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, though Israeli officials argue that any current restraint on the part of the Islamic terrorist group is largely a result of Israel’s security measures.

Asked about the Hamas regime in Gaza, Diskin said it has approximately 15,000 militiamen with infantry training and equipment. Hamas has smuggled 70 tons of explosives into Gaza since taking over the territory in June and is manufacturing its own weapons, he said.

NEXT STORY