A New Intifada? Young Palestinian Fighters Rise as West Bank Boils

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Before a group of young men from Aqabat Jabr refugee camp mounted a botched attack on a restaurant in Jericho popular with Israeli settlers in January, they declared allegiance to Hamas.

That was a surprise to their families – and to Hamas.

“They weren’t members of Al Qassam until that moment,” said Wael Awdat, father of Ibrahim and Rafat, two members of the group, using the name of the armed wing of Hamas. “They had a normal life. This was something personal.”

Their story illustrates the complex mix of spontaneous action and association between established factions and new groups during an upsurge in violence in the occupied West Bank that has fuelled fears of a new Palestinian intifada to follow the uprisings of the 1980s and early 2000s.