Palestinian women are seen through the Palestinian flag (Photo: AP)
In preparation for a third intifada, which it is hoped will be ignited on Friday, 13 May tens of thousands of short messages (sms) flooded the mobile phones of Palestinians in the West Bank, urging them to take part. The messages also urged participation in similar events on Sunday, a Christian holiday.
The messages were signed “Muslim Youth Association,” and the group has announced a whole program of events organized in coordination with other groups reflecting a range of views along the Palestinian political spectrum.
The association listed the mosques where mass rallies are to begin, while some planned activities will remain secret until they are launched to prevent their frustration by occupation forces.
The announcement suggests that most of the activity will be centered in the Al Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem, where activists can take advantage of the large number of worshippers who attend Friday prayers there. A large showing would encourage the viability of the protest movement.
Organizers of the Friday activities are fearful that occupation forces could resort to barring men under the age of 45 from entering the Aqsa mosque for prayer, a measure they have taken before.
Israeli radio has announced that the Israeli army will strengthen its troop presence in the West Bank to face the attempted uprising and also in preparation for the Nakba anniversary this week.
Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz, in anticipation of the Nakba commemoration, has inspected Israeli troop deployment and organization in the West Bank and said that “security coordination with the Palestinian Authority continues.”