Events in the occupied West Bank over the past week indicate that the Palestinian liberation struggle, and Israel’s efforts to repress it with with brutal violence, have entered a new phase.
In this looming scenario, the formerly extremist fringe settlers see themselves represented at the top levels of Israeli government, emboldened and beyond the restraint of the army.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority is proving increasingly ineffective at quelling armed resistance and teetering on what some Israeli analysts fear is the verge of collapse.
The PA exists to serve as an enforcement arm of the Israeli occupation and its presence would not be missed by many Palestinians except for those who are currently on its payroll.
But in a situation of complete Israeli impunity, and only empty gestures by international parties towards a nonexistent peace process, the grim statistic of more than 100 Palestinians killed in the West Bank so far this year foretells the even worse violence likely to come.