Israel History 1987-Intifadeh Begins
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THE INTIFADA BEGINS In 1986, Palestinian Arabs began what came to be known as the Intifada, their attempt to sow terror and cause Israeli casualties. The Intifada essentially petered out as the world's attention became focused on the Gulf and Iraq's designs on Kuwait.
December 8, 1987 marked the beginning of the first ‘intifadah’ or Palestinian uprising. A car crash killed 4 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and riots erupted. For a two-year period, Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip hurled boulders and stones, burned tires, and rioted.  Initially, poorly-prepared Israeli troops were neither trained nor equipped to deal with rioting and non-lethal encounters. As a result, the Palestinians suffered disproportionate casualties.  In February 1988, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (the group responsible for the assassination of  President Sadat) called  ‘Hamas’ joined the uprising.  Israel’s attempt to quell the intifadah by killing the PLO’s ‘Chief of Staff’ who was helping to coordinate the violence, and by rounding up Hamas leaders was not successful.  The Intifadah slowly petered out due to exhaustion as well as to the events that led to the 1991 Gulf War.  But the effect of the intifadah were far-reaching.  It helped spawn a serious Israeli protest-movement against continued retention of the territories captured in 1967. For the first time, many Israelis concluded that it would not be possible to exercise control over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip forever.  For the Palestinians, the intifadeh provided them with a new sense of empowerment.