Palestinian security officials warned over the weekend that a third intifada may be imminent, despite Israeli assessments to the contrary.
Israeli defense officials are adamant that despite the recent rise in terrorist attacks and what has been described as palpable tensions across Judea and Samaria, chances of a third violent Palestinian uprising are slim. Israel Defense Forces officials have deemed the series of terror attacks that have taken place over the past two months as "atmospheric attacks" that are not directed by any of the major Palestinian terror groups.
A report compiled by the Palestinian Authority's security forces that was leaked to the media over the weekend, however, warned that chances of a third intifada are very high. The report recommended that the PA formulate contingency plans to combat the possibility that a violent uprising would erupt, so that it would not be "dragged after the street like in the Second Intifada."
The report details the various difficulties Palestinian security forces encounter while trying to thwart attack perpetrated by lone terrorists.
"There is a lot of rage on the ground over the difficulties in the peace process and the continued settlement construction," a senior Palestinian security official told Israel Hayom. Under these conditions, "an intifada is very likely," he said.
Over the weekend Palestinian officials leveled harsh criticism at the expected upcoming Israeli announcement of new settlement construction.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat threatened that "if Israel builds in the settlements, we will go to The Hague."
Jibril Rajoub, formerly head of the Preventive Security Force in the West Bank, told Channel 2 news that "[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is killing any chance for peace," adding that the PA "does not condone violence."
Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) said in response: "The Palestinians are finally removing their masks. Their threats to appeal to The Hague and launch a third intifada serve as further proof that they are not interested in peace or any other kind of agreement."
Meanwhile, three Israelis were lightly injured Saturday when two Egged buses traveling near the Nablus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, en route to the Western Wall, were stoned. Several windows on each bus were shattered, injuring the passengers.
Also on Saturday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon ordered that the Kerem Shalom crossing -- the main commercial crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip, which was closed on Tuesday following the killing of a Defense Ministry employee by a Palestinian sniper near the Israel-Gaza border -- resume operations on Sunday.