The failure of peace talks with the Palestinians would not lead to an increase in violence, the head of Israel's domestic security agency said Tuesday.
“Even if the peace negotiations fail, we are not expecting a third Intifada,” or uprising, Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen was cited by army radio as telling the parliament’s foreign affairs and defence committee.
Cohen added that while there was a rise in Palestinian attacks against Israelis in 2013, most were from “individuals as opposed to terrorist organisations” and in part due to “internal problems in the Palestinian street,” according to the Jerusalem Post.
Spokesmen for the committee and the Shin Bet refused to provide a transcript of Cohen’s briefing as it was confidential.
Cohen’s remarks come as the United States is preparing a framework agreement to set out the end game in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that resumed in July, and to guide the talks forward ahead of their April deadline.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas warned in December that he would resort to legal and diplomatic action against Israel through international bodies if peace talks failed to yield results.
And US Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday that Israel was facing a growing campaign of delegitimization which would worsen if negotiations collapsed.
But in an interview with the New York Times published Sunday, Abbas firmly ruled out a third Intifada.
“I will never return to the armed struggle,” he said.