For the first time since the Israeli aggression on Gaza last November, followed by truce between the Palestinian resistance in Gaza and Israel, a Grad rocket fired from Gaza Strip exploded south of Ashkelon Tuesday morning, reportedly causing only some material damage, Israeli media reported.
No Palestinian resistance faction claimed responsibility for the strike yet. However, thestrike came after two days of continuous clashes between Israeli occupation army and Palestinian protesters in Hebron, Ramallah, Nablus and Jenin that erupted over the death of Palestinian prisoner, Arafat Jaradat, a resident of Hebron and a father of two children ages 3 and 2. Jaradat allegedly died in Israel's Megiddo jail Saturday after being subjected to an extreme torture.
Israeli security and Shin Bet internal intelligence service claimed that Arafat Jaradat died of a sudden heart attack, a few days after being arrested from Sair near Hebron in the occupied West Bank last Monday for alleged involvement in a November 2012 stone-throwing incident that lightly injured an Israeli settler in Tel Rumeida.
Israeli Prime Minister's spokesperson to the Arab media, Ofir Gendelman, wrote on his Twitter account: “Israeli Ministry of Health released a statement after Jadarat's autopsy examination carried out at Israel's national forensic institute in the presence of a Palestinian doctor, saying that preliminary findings had not been able to determine the cause of death but that bruising and broken ribs were likely the result of resuscitation attempts.”
On the other hand, the Palestinian government's Minister of Prisoner Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, said Sunday that results of Jadarat's autopsy indicate his heart was in good condition and he died after being tortured in Israeli custody.
He further stated that the postmortem examination showed chest and skull fractures due to torture, while his heart was in good condition, dismissing Israeli Ministry of Health’s claims that bruising and six broken ribs were the result of resuscitation attempts.
Qaraqe wondered how could a rescue attempt of an apparently fit and healthy man lead to chest and skull fractures?
Qaraqe stressed that Jaradat’s death is yet another proof of the dangerous situation in the Israeli jails, where 4,600 Palestinians are being kept over charges that range from stone-throwing to deadly attacks on Israeli targets.
Following Jaradat's death, thousands of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank held a protest in front of his home and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation, ongoing violations and attacks. They also called for more solidarity with all Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel.
Robert Serry, the UN coordinator for the Middle East peace process, called for an independent and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Jaradat's death, the results of which should be made public as soon as possible.
"The United Nations is closely monitoring the situation on the ground where mounting tensions present a real risk of destabilization," Serry's office said in a statement.
Meanwhile, gunmen from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of movement, shot in the air and vowed to avenge the death of a prisoner they say was tortured in an Israeli jail.
"This horrific crime will not go unpunished and we promise the Zionist occupation that we will respond."
Following Jaradat’s funeral in the Hebron village of Sair, clashes were reported in different parts of the occupied West Bank. At least 150 Palestinians were injured as the Israeli soldiers fired rounds of live ammunition, gas bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets.
Fighting is still continuing since Sunday night. Israel Radio reported that in Hebron, Palestinians protested and threw stones and firebombs at Israeli soldiers and Israeli security forces. The forces dispersed the crowd with tear gas and rubber bullets.
There were also protests with bottles with petrol and stone throwing, near Israeli Ofer prison near Ramallah, Bethlehem, Nablus ,Jenin, Halhul, Bethlehem, Qalqilya and Tulkarm.
It is assumed that the latest events of the West Bank are the beginning of the third intifada. Israel, which is still denying the rights of the Palestinian people to have an independent state on the territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, will be responsible for that, in particular that it knows the Palestinians are in a state of total despair concerning the peace negotiations.
Third intifada means violence. Therefore, the international community, which is keen to keep Israel safe and stable, needs to be aware that the Palestinian people are able to free their land by force and will not be afraid of the Israeli weapons. Moreover, the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are more than ever eager to end the Palestinian Authority, which means the return of the Israeli occupation. Thus, the Palestinian resistance will be legitimate.
Finally, I expect that the third intifada will be hundreds of times stronger than the first and second one since the Palestinians will be supported by all the Arab people. All the occupied territories will be liberated as the Palestinians will not allow any negotiations to be held with Israel for many years, without any result.
The truce in Gaza is collapsing gradually and Israel must prepare itself for the worst.