CIA director voices fears of third Intifada

CIA chief Bill Burns
CIA chief Bill Burns. (Photo: Twitter)
AMMAN — CIA chief Bill Burns has expressed fears of a third Palestinian Intifada, in light of rising tension in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem, an Israeli media outlet reported on Tuesday.اضافة اعلان

“I was a senior US diplomat 20 years ago during the Second Intifada, and I’m concerned — as are my colleagues in the intelligence community — that a lot of what we’re seeing today has a very unhappy resemblance to some of those realities that we saw then too,” Bill Burns said during a live interview at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service in Washington last Thursday.

Burns, who visited the occupied Palestinian Territories two weeks ago, said that his talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders sparked his concerns about "more vulnerability and greater violence" between the two sides.

The White House delegation had arrived in the occupied territories when tensions were flaring between the Israeli army and the Palestinian resistance in the wake of a massacre of Palestinians by Israeli forces in Jenin.

Burns commented that the situation was “beginning to resemble” the violence of the Second Intifada, according to the Times of Israel.
Burns commented that the situation was “beginning to resemble” the violence of the Second Intifada
“Part of the responsibility of my agency is to work as closely as we can with both the Palestinian security services and the Israeli security services to prevent the kind of explosions of violence that we’ve seen in recent weeks. That’s going to be a big challenge, and I’m concerned about that dimension of the landscape in the Middle East as well,” he added.

EscalationsOn January 26, Israeli occupation forces raided the West Bank city of Jenin, killing nine Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority responded by announcing the severing of its security ties with Israel, although Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas later told Burns ties were only partially cut, according to the Times of Israel.

The next day, a 21-year-old Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem opened fire outside a synagogue, killing eight settlers.

Occupation forces have responded with almost nightly raids, making over 2,500 arrests and killing more Palestinians.

Steps towards securityUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Abbas on January 31, encouraging Ramallah to adopt a plan aimed at boosting the PA’s security presence in the northern West Bank, where clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians has grown increasingly deadly, two US and Palestinian officials told The Times of Israel.

Commenting Monday on Burns’ remarks, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said the CIA director’s concern “is precisely the reason Secretary Blinken from Israel, from the West Bank, from Egypt, encouraged Israelis, Palestinians to take urgent steps themselves that would de-escalate this situation and lead to greater degrees of security and stability for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

Read more Region and World
Jordan News