Palestinian uprising, specifically between December 1987 and September 1993, during which time a loosely organized group of Palestinians (the Liberation Army of Palestine, also called Intifada) rebelled against armed Israeli troops in the occupied territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Their campaign for self-determination included strikes, demonstrations, stone-throwing, and petrol bombing. It was organized at grass-roots level by the Unified National Command, dominated by the al-Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), but the Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas also played a key role, particularly in the Gaza Strip. The September 1993 peace accord between Israel and the PLO provided limited autonomy for Gaza and the town of Jericho and initiated the Israel–Palestine peace process. However, extremist groups that had participated in the Intifada, notably the militant wing of Hamas, opposed the accord and continued a campaign of violence within Israel.
A second Intifada began in September 2000, after a visit by right-wing Israeli politician Ariel Sharon to the holy site of Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem. This continued into 2001, with Hamas again playing a key role and Palestinian public opinion being hardened by Israel's stern counter-measures. A grass-roots body, the National and Islamic Forces (NIF), emerged, which began to bring together the secular and Islamic nationalists of al-Fatah and Hamas. By August 2001, more than 500 Palestinians and 150 Israelis had been killed in this second Intifada.
The first uprising began in December 1987 in the Gaza Strip. Rumours that a fatal traffic collision had been caused by Israeli security service agents in retaliation for the stabbing of an Israeli the previous week led to demonstrations by teenagers armed with slingshots. It subsequently spread, despite attempts at repression. Some 1,300 Palestinians and 80 Israelis were killed in the uprising up to the end of 1991.
During the first Intifada, many Palestinian private homes were dynamited by military order, under a still-valid British emergency regulation promulgated in 1946 to put down Jewish guerrillas. The number of soldiers on duty on the West Bank at the beginning of 1989 was said to be more than three times the number needed to conquer it during the Six-Day War.
The History of the Conflict in the Middle East
Intifada Diary – Ten Years After
Related Credo Articles
A revolt by Palestinians of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip against Israeli occupation. Israeli rule was imposed after the Six-Day War...
(Arabic, 'a jumping up'). This term for an Arab uprising or revolt, as a 'jumping up' in reaction to something, became familiar in the West...
Name given to two separate Palestinian uprisings against Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Both intifadas represent periods of...