What Were The Palestinian Intifadas?

Tension and violence between Israel and Palestine isn’t anything new — in fact there have been several Palestinian coups against Israeli occupation, or “intifadas,” throughout history.  

Intifada translates to “shake” or” shaking” in Arabic. The first intifada, which took place in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, was the culmination of years of dissatisfaction over Israel’s occupation in those territories. In the years leading up to the unrest, Palestinians faced economic hardship and were subject to raids and arrests. This, combined with the burgeoning Iraq/Iran war, created a strong sense of Palestinian nationalism, which mounted until December 1987, when an Israeli military vehicle killed four Palestinians. Many believe this was the catalyst of the first Palestinian uprising, which including many disorganized, fairly peaceful protests. But, after Israeli forces started to violently clash back, they started using more violent measures like suicide bombings.

Many believe this Intifada is what eventually lead to peace talks between the nations, and the Oslo Accords. But the peace wasn’t maintained for long as Israel’s presence in Gaza increased. A second Intifada took place in 2000, which lead to extreme violence on both sides. The deadly conflict ended February 2005 — but with just as much tension boiling on each side today, many wonder if similar conflicts will happen again.

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