Palestinians Embark on the 'Intifada of Graves'

Plan to bury the dead in Israeli-controlled areas of the West Bank intended to force new realities in the absence of negotiations.

For the past week, representatives of the Popular Palestinian Committees (PPC) have been urging West Bank residents to bury their dead in Israeli-controlled parts of the West Bank, identified as Area C.

The plan has been endorsed by several ministers in the Palestinian Authority, who back the initiative as a way to influence conditions on the ground pre-final status negotiations, which at this point seem elusive.

The Popular Palestinian Committees is a grassroots organization based in Hebron. It has been at the forefront of non-violent political activity since the first intifada, which started in 1987.

A cemetery in the West Bank Reuters November 16, 2010

The Intifada of Graves, the label given to the plan by proponents, has been called a land grab by some Israeli politicians, including the head of the Yesha Council, Danny Dayan. He called on the Israeli government to take action against this "alarming phenomenon," and to "take care of the interests of the entire nation."

The plan was revealed on Army Radio on Sunday morning, when it reported that the PPC was urging all Palestinian residents of Judea and Samaria to send their dead for burial in Area C.

Proponents of the Intifada of Graves believe it will be more difficult for Israelis to take control over parts of the West Bank in a final agreement if there are Arab cemeteries throughout the disputed territories.