The totally unscrupulous Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be content with the tragic turmoil that the Israeli occupying forces have created all over Palestine in the West Bank, occupied Jerusalem and Gaza. His government has been ruthless in exploiting and encouraging divisions among the Palestinians, and has wilfully triggered the current violence by its gross incursions onto Al Haram Al Sharif followed by successive atrocities by its troops on Palestinian civilians.

This has deliberately created an atmosphere of murderous violence in Palestine and Israel is keeping tensions at a very dangerous level. A Palestinian was killed on Friday, following a week in which five other Palestinians and three Israelis were wounded.

A young Palestinian woman was critically wounded after being shot by Israelis who claim she was trying to stab an Israeli security guard in Afula. Tensions soared in Ramallah on Friday where thousands of Palestinians gathered for the funeral of law student Muhannad Halabi, who was shot dead after he stabbed two Israelis to death last weekend.

The ineffective leadership of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has allowed the Israelis to seize the initiative. But Palestinian leaders from all parties should not accept the dangerous and destructive manipulation by the Israelis. They should first seek to calm the situation while also maintaining a focus on long-term Palestinian priorities. Palestine needs a unity government and Fatah and Hamas need to come together to confront the Israelis effectively.

Then they should find better ways of confronting the Israelis. One possible action would be to withdraw all cooperation from the Israeli security forces. Another would be for all Palestinians who work for Israeli companies in Israel could go on a general strike. Another would be for Abbas to refuse to enforce the Israeli rules that are helping create this situation.

It is time for the Palestinians to find new ways of asserting their opposition to Israel, and recognise that enduring savage violence while raising the Palestinian flag at the United Nations is not going to achieve much.