The First and Second Palestinian Intifadas

Authored by: Rami Nasrallah

The Routledge Handbook on the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

Print publication date:  November  2012
Online publication date:  March  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415778626
eBook ISBN: 9780203079553
Adobe ISBN: 9781136160691


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The Arabic term intifada, literally a “shaking off,” when applied to conflicts usually takes on the meaning of an uprising, popular resistance, or rebellion. In the context of the Palestinian experience, one must further differentiate between the First Intifada and the Second (al-Aqsa) Intifada. The first is best understood as a popular or people's resistance movement, fundamentally but not totally non-violent, that sought an end to Israeli occupation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip and the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state. It relied very heavily upon local, civil society leadership rather than on the guidance of the then exiled PLO. It began in 1987 and ended essentially with the Madrid Conference in 1991, although some date its formal termination as 1993 with the onset of the Oslo Accords.

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