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al-Aqsa Intifada
Also called: Second Intifada
Arabic: 'intifādatu l-aqsā
Hebrew: intifadat al-aktsat


Palestinian uprising against Israel and Israeli occupation of West Bank and Gaza Strip, beginning September 2000.
The uprising would continue for a few years, but through 2005 the level of violence sunk to a level which has made many declare the intifada coming to an end. Others define the intifada to be ongoing even in 2006, linking it to unrest in Gaza Strip and the Israel-Lebanon Conflict 2006.
From the Palestinian side, several groups, like Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the new al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, performed several attacks on Israeli interests, largely by suicide bombings.
From the Israeli side, attacks were performed on the security and administrative infrastructure of Palestine, using armed helicopters, fighter air crafts and gunboats, as well as ordering the assassination of central Palestinian leaders.
Through the intifada about 3,200 Palestinians were killed, and 1,000 Israelis. 40,000 Palestinians were injured, as well as 3,000 Israelis.

Actual background
The actual background for the uprising is debated. It has been suggested that it was planned from central Palestinian officials, including Yassir Arafat, especially after the breakdown of the Camp David Summit in July 2000.
It is suggested that the intifada should be understood as long overdue discontent among Palestinians, who had seen little achievements from the Oslo Agreement.
Lastly, it is often suggested to have been triggered by Ariel Sharon and his visit to the Muslim sanctuaries Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque. This is clearly the visible beginning of the uprising, hence giving name to the intifada.
A theory of the intifada being first planned in advance by the Palestinians, then triggered by Ariel Sharon may appear impossible. Still, Sharon's visit to al-Aqsa was approved by many Palestinian leaders, including Arafat, and announced well in advance.
Among its products, the al-Aqsa Intifada helped Ariel Sharon to power as Prime Minister in early 2001.
The history layout below includes only a few, but the largest and most influential, incidents during the intifada. For clarity, the many attacks with one or a few dead, have been omitted.

History
2000 September 28: Likud leader Ariel Sharon visits the area of the al-Aqsa Mosque, surrounded by 1,000 armed police.
— Certain groups of Palestinian Muslim respond to Sharon's visit by throwing stones at Israelis.
September 29: Demonstrations at al-Aqsa Mosque area, where Israeli security forces open fire, killing 7.
October: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has the West Bank and the Gaza Strip closed.
2001 February 6: Direct Prime Minister elections in Israel, in which Ariel Sharon receives 62% of the votes, Ehud Barak 38%.
June 1: 21 Israelis are killed by a Hamas suicide bomber in a Tel Aviv discotheque.
2002 March All Palestinian territory, except Hebron and Jericho, is occupied by Israel. President Yassir Arafat is placed under house arrest.
April 2: Fights between Israeli troops and militia of al-Fatah, who had taken their hiding in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. This situation would last until May 10, leading to 7 dead Palestinian, no Israeli.
April 3: Israeli troops attack the refugee camp in Jenin, and the fighting lead that would continue for 11 days, leads to the death of 54 Palestinians, including 22 civilians plus 23 Israeli soldiers.
Late in the year: A wall dividing Jewish and Palestinian territory is begun built, solely placed on Palestinian land, by which Palestinian territory is effectively annexed by Israel.
2003 March 13: Arafat is pressured to appoint the moderate Mahmoud Abbas Prime Minister.
August 19: A Hamas suicide bomber kills 23 Israelis on a bus in Jerusalem.
October 4: Bomb in Haifa kills 21 Israelis. Islamic Jihad and Hizbullah are accused for responsibility.
2004 February 2: Ariel Sharon declares a plan to remove all Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip.
March 22: Hamas leader Shaykh Ahmad Yassin is killed by an Israeli helicopter gun ship.
April 17: New Hamas leader, Abdelaziz Rantissi, is killed by the Israelis.
September 29: A retaliation attack from Israel kills between 100 and 130 Palestinians on the Gaza Strip.
November 11: Yassir Arafat dies.
2005 January 9: Mahmoud Abbas is elected President of Palestine. He calls for a halt in the Palestinian attacks.
February 8: Mahmoud Abbas and Ariel Sharon declares a truce between Israel and Palestine. Hamas and Islamic Jihad declare they would respect the truce. Attacks would go on throughout the year.
2006 January 25: Hamas wins the parliamentary elections of Palestine, and begins a process to form government.
April 17: A suicide bomber kills 11 in Tel Aviv.




By Tore Kjeilen