The Israeli military has reported a significant rise in charges of “terrorism” against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, with the number of such charges increasing 20 percent in 2012.
Officials at the Military Advocate General (MAG) say that this is not believed to be an aberration, but rather part of a growing trend, and expect the number of charges in 2013 to be even higher, with officials saying a 50 percent rise is being tracked so far.
The data includes what the report described as charges related to “planning of terror attacks and possession of weapons,” but not the large numbers of Palestinians arrested for protests against the occupation.
Israelis have expressed concern that anger at the settlement expansions and lack of progress in the peace process, as well as the mistreatment of Palestinian detainees in Israeli military custody, could lead to a new intifada.
The Netanyahu government has mostly reacted to this by complaining about the public protests, but it seems the threat of broader violence is growing significantly independent of the unrest. The dramatic expansion of settlements seems to be a factor in this as well, with the arrests rising in concert with the settlement policy.