At the beginning of the week, a general strike was announced in several neighborhoods in East Jerusalem that also contained other elements such as not going to work in Israel, blocking entrances to the Shoafat refugee camp and avoiding paying taxes to the Israeli authorities. This is in protest of the increased police activity in the Shoafat refugee camp, which residents say is due to intentional harassment.
The organizers of the strike also announced civil disobedience, an old idea that the Palestinians had already tried in the first intifada in 1987.
The father of the idea was Mubarak Awad, a Palestinian American, who wrote the theory of non-violent resistance as a strategy for the struggle of the Palestinians, he managed to use it to warm up the situation on the ground for a few months and then was expelled from Israel.
The Palestinians in East Jerusalem are not really interested in civil disobedience, they know, as a lesson from the first intifada, that they suffered heavy economic damages, they will be the ones who will lose if they go down this road again, but they are looking for a way to scare Israel and deter it from taking a hard hand against them by Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir.
The residents of East Jerusalem have felt for many years that the PA has abandoned them, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has no influence in East Jerusalem, those who control the city are the local Fatah operatives together with the Muslim Waqf and Hamas, the residents do not receive any financial assistance from the PA and they don’t want to lose the National Insurance allowances and the health services they receive from Israel because they have residency status.
The Palestinian problem is not at the top of the international agenda, which is occupied by the war in Ukraine, even the recent severe terrorist attacks in Jerusalem have not changed the situation, at the moment the world is still busy with the damage caused by the huge earthquake in Turkey and Syria, which has so far claimed more than 40 thousand lives. This is what concerns the world and not the Palestinians who have always carried out terrorist attacks and will probably continue to do so in the future.
The Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem have been full of rage for a long time, the terrorist organizations have been inciting the residents several months in advance for a new intifada during the month of Ramadan, the call for civil unrest in East Jerusalem is also a signal for the Israeli Arabs to join this struggle through civil disobedience within Israel itself.
The severe terrorist attacks in Jerusalem failed to provoke a wave of imitation, the police deployed large forces to curb acts of violence and the Shin Bet managed to thwart several attacks, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are supposed to be the match that ignites the new intifada and now the Palestinians are trying the match they called civil disobedience.
By declaring civil disobedience, the Palestinians are trying to show the world that Israel is supposedly an apartheid state, that is also another reason why Israel should proceed with caution during this period and be careful not to harm the population in East Jerusalem that is not involved in acts of violence and terrorism, especially during the Ramadan fasting period.