Over course of one week, nearly 140,000 people click 'Like' on Facebook page that calls for Palestinian uprising against Israel. 'If there isn't a political order to begin intifada, it won't happen,' Fatah says
VIDEO - The first Intifada began on December 9, 1987, the second Al-Aqsa Intifada was underway in late September 2000, and according to a very popular Facebook page, the third coming of the violent Palestinian uprising is scheduled to kick off this year, on May 15 - the Palestinian Nakba Day and the anniversary of the establishment of Israel in 1948.
Recent developments in the Middle East have gained Facebook the reputation of a safe haven where social uprisings ignite; it appears that the Palestinians have decided to try out the sweeping power of the social network as well.
Early last week, a new Facebook page calling for a third intifada in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was created. The popularity of the page grew exponentially since then, each day bringing an additional 25,000 supporters on average. On Sunday afternoon, the page had nearly 140,000 "Likes." The organizers' goal is to reach a million.
Despite repeated requests made by supporters, the creators of the page refuse to reveal their identity or location. They identify themselves only as Palestinians.
The page's creators claim that after "popular intifadas" have toppled the Tunisian and Egyptian governments, it is now the turn of the Palestinian intifada to take place. "If Facebook blocked this page," the creators warn, "All Muslims will boycott Facebook forever!"
With the help of the surfers, the creators aim to overthrow Israel. The organizers ask supporters in neighboring nations like Jordan, Syria and Egypt to simultaneously hold demonstrations on their borders with Israel. Meanwhile, they call on Palestinians in the West Bank to attack the settlements, and request Hezbollah to launch rockets at Israel.
Fatah: Situation under control
Massive rallies are expected to take place on Tuesday in Gaza and the West Bank, demanding that Fatah and Hamas reconcile their differences. It appears that these demonstrations are not linked to the Facebook campaign, though the creators of the page encourage their supporters to participate in Tuesday's events in order to raise awareness for their cause.
In a conversation with Ynet, a senior Fatah official denied the possibility that the Facebook campaign will lead to another Intifada.
"There is no organization from high ranks, which is why we are not worried about it," he said. "The situation in the West Bank is different than that in Egypt; if there isn't a political order to begin an intifada, there won't be an intifada."
The same official said that Fatah has the situation completely under control, but that senior Egyptian officials made similar claims in the early days of the uprising, before President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown.
"We are certain there is nothing to it – at most, riots will go on for a day or two, but then the situation will calm down," he said.
He added that the authorities will prevent the rallies against the Hamas-Fatah dispute from turning into a call for another intifada. "We have control over these demonstrations," he said.
Click to view image: 'Page calling for 3rd Intifada '
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