According to a Fatah leader, the apparent lack of a strong reaction in the West Bank to Israel’s deadly campaign targeting the Islamic Jihad movement in Gaza is due to the resistance group setting a new precedent by responding to the aggression with rocket attacks rather than protests.

“The sound of Islamic Jihad’s missiles launched toward Israel, and the sound of the bombs dropped by Israeli warplanes, are louder than any mass protests that could take place in the West Bank,” Taysir Nasrallah, a member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council in Nablus, told Arab News.

Following the death of three militant group commanders on May 10, Islamic Jihad set a precedent, he added, by launching rockets toward Israel. As a result, popular protests in solidarity with the victims were perceived as futile, he noted.

However, the sacrifices committed by Islamic Jihad warriors are expected to be related to attempts to fulfill the Palestinian people’s political goals, according to Nasrallah.

“Still, no one knows what the Islamic Jihad wants to achieve politically for the Palestinian people — and I believe there is nothing,” he added.

Political analyst Riyad Qadriya told Arab News that West Bank solidarity marches for Gazans had fallen short of expectations, both publicly and officially.

“There are modest responses that do not match the magnitude of the attack,” he said, pointing to brief official comments issued by the two most significant armed organizations in the northern West Bank: the Jenin Brigade in the Jenin camp and the Lions’ Den in Nablus’ old city.

“I expected stronger official and popular support to confuse Israel and prevent it from focusing on the Gaza Strip, but I believe that if the war continues and more civilian casualties occur in the Gaza Strip, popular protests will occur in the West Bank.”

Ghassan Al-Khatib, a prominent Palestinian political analyst, told Arab News that the current aggression against Islamic Jihad in Gaza “is a continuation of Israel’s war in the West Bank against Islamic Jihad, which began more than a year ago and focused on Jenin and Nablus in the northern West Bank.”

He stated that Palestinians in the West Bank “are exhausted after more than a year of being subjected to continuous campaigns of Israeli oppression, whether by the Israeli army or by settlers.”

“There are strong popular feelings of solidarity with the Gaza Strip among Palestinians in the West Bank,” he adds.

Social media has been inundated with news and photographs from the Gaza Strip, with some noticing that expressions of solidarity appear to be primarily limited to online activity rather than protests on the ground.

Meanwhile, Palestinians in the Israeli city of Umm Al-Fahm conducted a sit-in in solidarity with Gazans on Thursday night.

In Jenin, the National and Islamic Action factions planned a sit-in to denounce the Israeli aggression. Dozens of individuals took part, calling on the international community to intervene and defend vulnerable Palestinians who face violence and loss of property.

A Palestinian youth was hurt on Friday during a settler attack in Silwad, east of Ramallah. According to local sources, settlers swarmed the area, resulting in fights, and one settler fired on youngsters, injuring one. They stated that Israeli army personnel arrived quickly to protect the settlers.



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