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Intifada
Arabic: intifāda


Uprising in the Palestinian occupied territories 1987-1993, a protest against the Israeli occupation and politics. Intifada is from Arabic, meaning "tremor."
The Intifada involved demonstrations, strikes, riots and violence, and was carried out both in the Gaza Strip and on the West Bank. What made the Intifada stand out from earlier — and later — forms of protests, was its broadness, the wide support, the duration, and the involvement and organization by Islamist groups.
There were 3 principal groups behind the Intifada: The PLO, Hamas (founded in 1988) and Islamic Jihad. Hamas and Islamic Jihad both called for an Islamic state in the entire former Palestine.
The most symbolically important act of the Intifada was the stoning of Israeli security forces and civilians, often enacted by young men and boys. Israel tried to suppress the Intifada, with more police and army forces, closing of universities, deportations and restrictions on economic activities.
But a united Palestinian public was for the first time in the 40 years since the establishment of Israel the stronger party — symbolically and politically. Israeli opinion changed gradually in favour of talks with the Palestinians.
The Intifada, and the change in public opinion, resulted in the Oslo Agreement of 1993. The Intifada became weaker, having fewer participants, especially after the Oslo Agreement, when it turned into more of a traditional violent liberation struggle. By then militant Islamists had taken over the Intifada, and it was no longer the Intifada.




By Tore Kjeilen