Sunday, 20 March, 2022 – 08:30
Activists set up a Palestinian flag overlooking an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. (AFP file photo)
Ramallah – Asharq Al-Awsat
Israeli army battalion commander Eliav Elbaz said on Saturday that Palestinians will lose a lot if they decide to go back and fight another intifada, as happened in 2000.
Elbaz’ warning came in statements to the Israeli Walla website, which reported that these assessments are based on a secret tour that the commander had carried out in downtown Ramallah few months ago.
It said Elbaz toured the city in civilian clothes with an aim of getting to closely recognize the place.
“A great change has occurred in Ramallah in recent years and therefore, Palestinians today will suffer enormous losses if they decide to repeat another intifada,” he was quoted by the website as saying.
In August 2021, Elbaz and outgoing commander of the Binyamin Brigade, Col. Jonathan Steinberg, had inspected downtown Ramallah in a regular vehicle and in civilian clothes, unarmed and with no reconnaissance planes hovering in the sky.
The Israeli commanders wanted to get a close look at the great change that the city witnessed after Al-Aqsa Intifada, which started in 2000 and witnessed major Israeli invasions of the West Bank.
Ramallah is the political capital of the Palestinian Authority where the office and residence of the President is situated, and the Prime Ministry’s headquarter and the residences of several officials.
In the past years, the city has witnessed great development at the level of commerce and infrastructure and has a higher level of luxury than the rest of the Palestinian cities.
In his statements to Walla, Elbaz warned that Hamas intends to change the security situation in the West Bank.
He said several Hamas cells were discovered in the area last September and would have caused great damage if they had remained operational.
Walla says Elbaz’ statements confirm that the calm prevailing in the West Bank may be shaken at any moment.
In the past few weeks, the West Bank witnessed a series of security operations, which reinforced recent Israeli reports anticipating a major escalation in the area during the next three months.