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The Palestinian Mass Uprising Essay

1256 words - 5 pages

The Intifada: The Palestinian Mass Uprising----The rise of the PLO to the world stage reallybegan with the well-known intifada, or massuprising, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It wasat the end of 1987 where resistance to Israel'soccupation of the West Bank and Gaza strip beganto sharply escalate in the form of demonstrations,strikes, boycotts, and violence. It came toinvolve virtually the whole Palestinian populationin those areas, and continued even two years laterin spite of the hundreds of Palestinian deaths andthousands of detentions that came at the hands ofIsraeli police forces.----The uprising was the product of a generationthat had been brought up under Israeli control.By the late 1980's two out of every threePalestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip hadeither been born or were less than five years oldwhen the Israeli occupation began. For two decadesthe people had no control over their own livesand their future was becoming increasingly unsure.This was primarily due to the creeping annexationof land by the Israeli occupation authorities andthe establishment of Israeli settlements on theconfiscated lands. By 1993, more than 60 percentof the West Bank land and about 50 the land of theovercrowded Gaza Strip had been appropriated byIsrael (Peretz, 1990). Some of it was destinedfor Jewish settlements, inhabited in many cases bymilitant right-wing settlers seeking Israeliannexation of these areas. The settlements weremeant to "establish facts," and hence makeIsraeli control irrevocable. The presence of thesesettlers seriously worsened the tensions betweenPalestinian and Jewish settlers.----For two decades Israel had done much toprevent independent economic or social developmentand to subject the West Bank and Gaza Strip to theneeds of the Israeli economy: these areas becamethe second largest market for Israeli exports,provided a pool of cheap labor for Israel, andoffered a field for lucrative Israeli investment.West Bank and Gaza Strip workers had to pay partof their low salaries into the Israeli socialsecurity fund, but could not receive benefits. Allresidents were heavily taxed, but the Palestinianworkers received much less benefits than theIsraelis enjoyed. It came to the point that theoccupation not only paid for itself but becameprofitable to the Israeli state.----Over the years the Israeli occupationauthorities expelled more than 1,700 Palestiniansfor political offenses. They punished thefamilies of many suspects (often later foundinnocent) by demolishing their homes. Theyarrested and detained many thousands ofPalestinians, often by means of administrativedetentions without trial that bypassed even themilitary justice system. Eventually so many peoplehad been harmed by the occupation in one way oranother that a large proportion of Palestiniansapparently felt that they had nothing left tolose.----What resulted starting on Dec. 9, 1987, wasclearly a popular uprising. It included children,teenagers, adults, and elderly people, men...

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