Jerusalem – Over the past 24 hours clashes between protesters and security forces have resulted in the greatest escalation of violence since the conclusion of the Fifth Intifada prior to the unification and establishment of the Federation of Israel. The Ministry of State Security has issued a warning that rioting is considered terrorism under the National Security Law and may authorize heavier measures to quell unrest. The President has issued a general call for peace to return but according to anonymous sources faces intense pressure to declare a state of siege and authorize the use of the IDF on Israeli soil as well as the return of administrative detention.
The most recent surge in violence has its roots in the April 15 firebombing of a Synagogue in Haifa by members of an Arab Extremist Faction. Acting to detain those believed responsible the police held several raids in Jerusalem, Gaza City and Ramallah. During one of these raids unexpectedly heavy resistance led to a fire breaking out in the appartment complex, while attempts were made to evacuate the building 25 people died including 4 children and 6 women. The officers involved were suspended for the duration of the use of force investigation however few Arabs trust the National Police, still dominated by Jewish leadership.
After several nights of peaceful protests, Arab extremists launched attacks against Jewish citizens and business which forced the Police to break up he protests gone violent. These initial attacks against the initially uninvolved Jewish civilian population would prove their own escalation as Orthodox Jews retalliated the following day and night against Arabs. With the chaos complete, President David now faces the likely greatest challenge to her presidency.
In the face of increasing violence and casualties many are wondering why the President who has become famous for her advocacy of unity and peace has not spoken out aside from a short statement by the Press Secretary. However, according to sources inside the administration she has been advised to stay out of the matter for now as there are fears that premature use of good will, will negatively affect her planned unification policies. According to these same sources, hawks are also placing intense pressure on her to declare a state of siege. A state of siege would give the governmen a wide range of emergency powers, including the use of the Israeli Defence Forces against Israeli ciizens and the return of administrative detenttion. Administrative detention was the much hated and excessively hated legal provision allowing the government to detain people indefinitely without charges. Advocates argue that it could be used to detain agitators and deescalate violent clashes. They state that detention would only last until quiet returns. Opponents believe it sets a horrendous precedent and encourages a return to the darkest times in the ancestral conflict.
When asked about the clashes by press during the press conference with the Italian ambassador, Prime Minister Hanaa Alfarsi stated “The tragedy unfolding on our streets is horrific. Once again the blood of Israeli citizens flows due to our own actions. It is important that everyone calms down and lets the authorities complete their jobs. Justice will prevail. And anyone who raises a hand against another, whether they be Jewish, Arab, Druze or whatever, will face the full force of justice. The President and I want as little bloodshed as possible but peace will return, by the carrot or the stick”.