The First Intifada

The first Intifada

The First Intifada refers to a series of violent incidents between Palestinians and Israelis between 1987 and approximately 1993, when the Oslo Accords were signed and the Palestinian National Authority was established.

A growing sense of frustration among Palestinians, particularly in the West Bank, but also in Gaza, at the lack of progress in finding a durable resolution for their humanitarian and nationalistic claims after the establishment of Israel in 1948 and the Six-Day War in 1967. The Palestine Liberation Organization had failed to make any significant headway against Israel since the 1960s, and had in 1982 been forced to establish its offices in Tunis, Morocco. Although all Arab states, with the exception of Egypt, maintained an official state of war with Israel, rhetoric was toned down in the mid-1980s, and Palestinians found advocacy on their behalf weakened. Israeli military control over Southern Lebanon and the continued Israeli military administration of the West Bank and Gaza fed a growing discontent with the status quo.

Muslim clerics used their pulpits to speak against the Israeli government, and when an Israeli was stabbed to death on December 6, 1987 while shopping in Gaza, tensions grew. When four Palestinian refugees from the Jabalya camp were killed in a traffic accident in Gaza the following day, rioting broke out in Jabalya. One Palestinian was killed by Israeli soldiers during these riots, sparking further riots.

The Oslo Accords

Oslo Peace Accords

The Oslo Accords, also known as the "Declaration of Principles On Interim Self-Government Arrangements" were finalized in Oslo, Norway on August 20, 1993, and subsequently officially signed at a public ceremony in Washington D.C on September 13, 1993, during which Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin ended decades as sworn enemies with an uneasy handshake.

The Oslo Accords were part of a peace process trying to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Despite the high hopes expressed in the Accords and in the subsequent agreements, the conflict has not been resolved.

The main points of the Oslo Accords (or Declaration of Principles = DOP):