Prelude to the Uprising in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip

The intifada (shaking off) began in the Gaza Strip, sparked by a seemingly minor-though tragic-incident wherein an Israeli military tank transport vehicle ploughed into a line of cars and vans on 8 December 1987. Four workers died in one van, crushed on impact. Their funerals that night in Jabalya refugee camp exploded into mass demonstrations. Residents attacked the police post inside the camp and the soldiers used live ammunition as well as tear gas to quell them. Since an Israeli had been stabbed to death on the main street of Gaza City on 6 December, many Palestinians thought the Israeli vehicle had deliberately struck the Palestinian van as an act of retaliation. Soldiers then shot dead a twenty- year-old in the funeral demonstrations and the Strip erupted in fury. The turmoil spread outside the camps into towns and villages. Israeli patrols even besieged the main government hospital in Gaza, seizing wounded persons from the wards and dropping tear gas from helicopters onto the buildings. Jabalya camp endured a week-long curfew. Demonstrations quickly spread to the West Bank, where Palestinians expressed open defiance of Israeli military rule.

Ann M. Lesch is associate professor of political science at Villanova University. Her most recent book is Israel, Egypt, and the Palestinians: From Camp David to Intifada, with Mark Tessler.

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The intifada (shaking off) began in the Gaza Strip, sparked by a seemingly minor-though tragic-incident wherein an Israeli military tank transport vehicle ploughed into a line of cars and vans on 8 December 1987. [1] Four workers died in one van, crushed on impact. Their funerals that night in Jabalya refugee camp exploded into mass demonstrations. Residents attacked the police post inside the camp and the soldiers used live ammunition as well as tear gas to quell them. Since an Israeli had been stabbed to death on the main street of Gaza City on 6 December, many Palestinians thought the Israeli vehicle had deliberately struck the Palestinian van as an act of retaliation. Soldiers then shot dead a twenty- year-old in the funeral demonstrations and the Strip erupted in fury. The turmoil spread outside the camps into towns and villages. Israeli patrols even besieged the main government hospital in Gaza, seizing wounded persons from the wards and dropping tear gas from helicopters onto the buildings. Jabalya camp endured a week-long curfew. Demonstrations quickly spread to the West Bank, where Palestinians expressed open defiance of Israeli military rule.

The outside world perceived the intifada as erupting after a long period of quiet. Palestinians had seemed subdued, shaken by the dispersion of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from Beirut in August 1982 and too fragmented to mount coherent opposition to Israel. More- over, Gaza appeared an unlikely locus for protest. General Ariel Sharon had broken the back of the massive insurrection in the Strip in the late 1960s when he was field commander-in-chief of the Southern Command, and the Israeli government had crushed strikes by professionals and the city municipality in 1981-82. Many viewed the Palestinians of Gaza as still too traumatized to risk another revolt.

That image was wrong. In the previous year, the Strip had seethed with unrest. Equally important, political and professional groups were strengthening their organizational structures and establishing new alliances that later provided a valuable underpinning for the intifada. In fact, Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres was deeply concerned about the situation. On 6 December-just after the stabbing of the Israeli but before the deaths in the van-he had proposed to the Knesset's Commit- tee on Foreign Affairs and Defense that Israel pull out of the Gaza Strip. Peres suggested that Israel demilitarize and surround the Strip, leaving the residents to their own devices. Peres added that Jewish settlements in the Strip did not provide any security or benefit for Israel and therefore should be dismantled. The 2,000 Israeli settlers in the Strip were furious, while Gazans interpreted Peres's statement "as a fruit of their acts of resistance." It also indicated that Israel could be forced to yield. [2] Thus, Palestinians living in the Strip were already burning with anger. But the outside world ignored that until the smoldering fire engulfed the entire occupied territories.

Prior Uprisings

The Gazans have had years of experience with grassroots mobilization against Israeli rule. Earlier, they protested against Egyptian restrictions.

In the early 1950s, activists from the underground Communist and Muslim Brotherhood movements helped galvanize protests against Egyptian policies, especially after severe Israeli raids in 1953 and 1955. [3] They demanded that the Egyptian army protect and arm the Palestinians and repel Israeli attacks. They also protested against plans to resettle Palestinians outside the refugee camps, which they viewed as attempts to cancel their right of repatriation. In the early 1960s, Egypt allowed elections for the Arab Socialist Union (ASU), the sole political party, and established a partly-elected legislative council. Chaired by the outspoken Dr. Haidar Abd al-Shafei, the council and ASU provided some opportunities for grassroots mobilization. When the PLO was formed in 1964 with Egyptian support, the government allowed Palestinians to set up affiliated trade, women's, and military units in the Strip. But autonomous movements such as Fateh, the Communists, and the Muslim Brotherhood continued to be harassed. When Israel occupied the Strip in June 1967, civic institutions were still weak, dominated by the landowning elite, and care- fully circumscribed by Egypt.

Nonetheless, the Strip was heavily armed. Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) units and underground groups had light arms and rudimentary military training. Within months, they turned to guerrilla tactics against Israeli control. Guerrillas hid in orange groves and congested quarters of the towns and camps. They lobbed grenades at Israeli military vehicles, burned buses that transported Gazans to work inside Israel, and attacked the banks, post offices, and markets that symbolized a return to normal life in the Strip.

At times, the guerrillas dominated the camps. Israeli soldiers patrolled during the day but at night the guerrillas ruled. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was especially influential, but Fateh, some of whose major leaders had been active politically in the Strip in the 1950s, also played a role. The violent uprising was supplemented by systematic civil disobedience. Students demonstrated and struck on national days, teachers protested against changes in the curriculum and soldiers' violation of school grounds, and lawyers boycotted the military courts. The civil disobedience campaign was coordinated with efforts on the West Bank, but the guerrilla movement was largely autonomous. Having been virtually disarmed by Jordan prior to 1967, the West Bank lacked the infrastructure to mount large-scale violent opposition to the occupation. The guerrillas in Gaza aimed to make the Strip ungovernable and thereby pressure Israel to leave.

The government, however, responded with overwhelming force. Israel ousted the mayors and councilors in Gaza City in January 1971. During the spring, the military arrested dozens of activist professionals and detained some 12,000 relatives of wanted guerrillas. Sharon's forces placed the refugee camps under lengthy curfews during which the army searched homes, smashed belongings, and forcibly removed thousands of residents. Roads bulldozed through the camps broke up the rabbit-warren of alleys and facilitated military control. After last-ditch gun battles in mid-1971, Sharon broke the resistance movement. The guerrillas lost their sanctuaries, ran out of arms and ammunition, and the last PFLP commanders were killed. By overwhelming force, Israel isolated and destroyed the Gaza uprising.

The movement was also weakened by its lack of international support. Egypt had accepted the Rogers Plan in mid-1970 and was seeking a limited accord with Israel to reopen the Suez Canal. Jordan had cracked down on the PLO in September 1970 and was especially hostile to the PFLP, whose hijacking of airplanes to a Jordanian airfield had helped trigger the showdown. The PLO lacked international legitimacy and, ousted from Jordan, was painfully reestablishing its headquarters in Beirut. The Gazans had no way to bring international pressure to bear against Israel.

Moreover, powerful social forces inside the Strip opposed the guerrillas. The landowning elite recognized that mobilization of the refugees and poor people of the towns threatened their own power base. They sought calm, opportunities to market their citrus produce abroad, and a modus vivendi with the occupier until international diplomatic efforts could end alien rule. Rashad al-Shawwa, the epitome of that elite, signaled the ascendancy of that perspective when he accepted the post of mayor of Gaza in September 197 1, just as Sharon crushed the insurrection.

Sharon cowed the refugee camps. Given the relatively low level of political organization and sophistication among the residents at that time, the failure of the violent revolt led to despair and apathy. [4] Residents were terrified of the consequences of opposing the occupying power and concentrated on basic survival. Nonetheless, resentment burned, and individuals formed cells that launched isolated attacks. Prospects for mounting another armed revolt dimmed but antagonism to occupation continued.

During the 1970s Gaza played a role secondary to the West Bank. The national blocs that won the municipal elections on the West Bank did not exist in Gaza, where no elections were held. Israel allowed the Gazans to organize only one rally opposing Camp David. Not until. November 1981-a decade after Israel crushed the violent revolt-did residents attempt systematic protests again. This time, urban professionals rather than refugees led the movement. Doctors, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists, lawyers, and engineers struck for two weeks in November in protest against new taxes and restrictions levied on them by the Israeli military government. Merchants and the Gaza municipality supported the strike. The effort indicated the emergence of a self-conscious group of middle-class intelligentsia, whose professional concerns merged with their nationalism in the strike. In response, the Israeli government imposed heavy fines, arrested professionals, and closed pharmacies and shops. The strike ended without substantive gains. It merely won the postponement of the new value-added tax, not its cancellation.

The strike did not spread into the camps or link with any effort to stop Gazans from working in Israel. [5] Rather, the failure of the strike demonstrated the weakness of the middle class and its lack of grassroots ties. Moreover, mobilizing around a guild issue was not an effective means to activate wider support.

Nonetheless, the strike coincided with the introduction of the Israeli civil administration, designed to provide a facade of non-military rule. Palestinians viewed the change as a step toward absorbing the territories into Israel. The Gaza municipality joined all the West Bank municipalities in protesting against the civil administration and refused to cooperate with the new Israeli officials. Israel then ousted the mayors. It removed Shawwa in July 1982 and the rest of the municipal council in August. An Israeli officer took over the municipality. By then, unrest had spread in the towns and camps. The issue of changing the political status of the Strip struck a chord with the residents, in contrast to the narrow issues raised by the professionals.

Moreover, other Israeli actions helped provoke Palestinian protest. In particular, the attack on 11 April 1982 by a Jewish militant against Muslim worshippers outside al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem galvanized residents. Students at the new Islamic University in Gaza demonstrated and worshippers protested in mosques. The army beat male and female students on the campus and fired at worshippers as they left four major mosques. Soldiers even fired into a mosque during prayers, killing a youth, wounding worshippers, and shattering glass. The government forcibly suppressed attempts at general strikes.

The wave of unrest in spring 1982 coincided with the Israeli evacuation of Sinai and was undoubtedly fueled by Palestinians' frustration at the lack of improvement in their own political situation. Moreover, Israel removed Shawwa at the same time the army was besieging Beirut and seeking to destroy the PLO. Sharon believed that the residents of the West Bank and Gaza would then acquiesce in whatever Israel offered them. It never occurred to him that total denial of Palestinian aspirations would embitter them so much that they would again explode. [6] 

As in 1971, the timing in 1981-82 was inauspicious for the uprising to lead to a concerted diplomatic effort and a change in the status quo. Rather, in both cases, the uprisings came just as the PLO was being harassed and Arab governments were at odds with each other. Israel appeared triumphant. Sharon had ensured that both protests were smashed, in 1971 as commander of the southern front, and in 1982 as minister of defense.

Social Forces

Mobilization of the Gaza residents has been weakened not only by Israeli force and lack of effective external support but by internal schisms. In the past, the gulf between the indigenous political elite and the majority of poor refugees was a major limitation on effective mobilization. In the 1980s, tension between secular and religious political forces became pronounced and hampered coordination.

In 1948-49, the 80,000 indigenous residents were overwhelmed by the 200,000 refugees. Unprepared for and unable to cope with the influx, they viewed the refugees as a temporary presence. The landowning elite provided seasonal jobs in the citrus groves and packing houses at low wages to refugees. They extracted high rent for housing and shops from those living outside the camps. Thus, while stressing their staunch nationalism, the elite took advantage of the refugees' situation. Refugees resented the exploitation and indigenous Gazans resented the refugee presence. They took out on each other their dismay at the Palestinians' overwhelming political loss.

The two societies were also separated institutionally. Appointed municipalities represented the permanent residents and the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) provided services for and structured the lives of the refugees. Under Israeli rule, Shawwa was a key representative of the old social order and dominated Gaza in a paternalistic style. A major landowner, he controlled citrus groves and packing houses that employed refugees. As mayor, he issued travel documents for all residents, stamped certificates of origin on produce before it could be exported, and brought in foreign development funds. His Benevolent Society used the funds gained from those fees to provide charity. That assistance also under- wrote his patronage and control. Moreover, a close relative headed the Palestine Bank-the only non-Israeli bank-and other members of the municipal council owned light industries and land. The traditional social order was based on family influence, education, wealth, and patron-client relations. [7] That order seemed legitimate and natural to the elite. They opposed Israeli rule because it was alien and constricted their authority. But they also opposed the mobilization of poor sectors and refugees, since that might undermine their own bases of power.

During the 1970s, socio-economic changes eroded the elite's power. Nearly half the labor force worked inside Israel, thereby providing an alternative source of income for poor Gazans. That weakened the economic clout of the elite. Moreover, citrus output declined as a result of Israeli restrictions on planting and water use. Citrus exports were hampered by Israeli controls, taxes, and restrictions on credit. Markets abroad were also lost, in Eastern Europe after the occupation and in Iran after the fall of the Shah in 1979. The financial leverage of the landed elite diminished.

Meanwhile, the professional middle class grew in size and stature. Some originated in elite families but many were from lower-class or refugee backgrounds. Young people from a wide range of backgrounds inter- acted in school, especially after budget cuts forced UNRWA to close some schools. As a result, refugee and indigenous students studied together in government high schools. In addition, the opening of the Islamic University in 1978 brought together young people who previously would have studied in Egypt or on the West Bank.

Students and professionals faced the same problems vis-a-vis Israel irrespective of their class or refugee status. Students faced school closures, restricted access to higher education, and minimal career opportunities. Professionals faced high taxes, restrictions on their practices, and limited job prospects in the Strip. The lawyers union, engineers union, and medical association proved particularly important in enhancing a sense of solidarity and trying to improve conditions. Nonetheless, those groups remained much weaker than their counterparts on the West Bank. There, the larger pool of professionals, the relatively less restricted atmosphere of Jerusalem, and. the experience of participating in the elected municipalities in the late 1970s enhanced their self-confidence and honed their organizational skills.

Residential patterns also became less distinct over time. Some middle- class refugees rented apartments in the towns and opened shops or offices there. Ironically, the major Israeli resettlement efforts of the 1970s also blurred the distinction between refugee and indigenous Gazans. Designed to thin out the camps and end the refugee status, the new housing projects juxtaposed refugees and indigenous slum dwellers. Instead of depoliticizing the refugees, the contact helped to politicize the urban poor. Moreover, Israeli settlements impinged on indigenous residents as much as on refugees. The settlements surrounded and choked residential areas, and a third of the land surface of the Strip was confiscated for them. [8] The sense of common pressures and common problems grew. While refugees retained their dream of returning home, the lengthening time and common experience of occupation strengthened social bonds rather than reinforcing the original schism.

The shift in the political order became pronounced after 1982, when Israel closed the Gaza municipality. The special role of the old elite vanished. Shawwa could no longer dispense largesse and act as a buffer between the public and the occupier. On the West Bank the destruction of the municipalities compelled residents to rely on and develop local civic organizations. Health groups, working women's committees, and other voluntary societies proliferated. Grassroots organizations also expanded in Gaza. However, the social environment there was more restrictive than in the West Bank. There was a smaller pool of middle class to draw on for such activities, and the strong social conservatism meant, for example, that no women's organizations or working women's committees could be formed in the refugee camps. [9] Moreover, the military government placed more restrictions on organizations in the Gaza Strip than in the West Bank. Few organizations were approved and even fewer were allowed to receive any external funds or private donations. Their operations were closely monitored and curtailed. Thus, the political and social infrastructure remained less developed in Gaza than in the West Bank.

Furthermore, adults were still traumatized by the crackdown in 1971 and depressed by the swift end to civil disobedience in 1981-82. Nonetheless, by the mid-1980s, half the population was under age fifteen, born after the Israeli occupation began. The trauma of 1971 did not inhibit the children of the camps, villages, and towns in the way that it silenced their parents.

Islamist Groups

The second important political schism related to ideological differences among organized groups. The PLO was explicitly secular in its approach and called for the establishment of a state in which religious affiliation would be a personal matter. Its component groups, such as Fateh, the Popular Front, and the Democratic Front, differed profoundly on many issues but not on secularism. Moreover, the Communist party was strongly rooted in the Gaza Strip as well as the West Bank, appealing to the sense of discrimination felt by poorer residents and emerging professionals against the landed elite. Nonetheless, Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood had adherents in the Strip, linked to the influential movement that originated in Egypt. They called for a return to personal piety that would lead to the creation of a truly Islamic society and state. Since the 633,000 Gazans were more than 95 percent Muslim and personally devout, such concepts resonated among them.

In the 1970s the Israeli government allowed several Islamic organizations to be formed in the Strip, largely as a counterweight to the nationalist and leftist political movements. The Islamic Charitable League, founded by Shaykh Ahmad Yassin in 1973, collected and distributed zakat (alms for the poor) with Israeli acquiescence. [10] The League operated health centers and educational programs, including kindergartens and women's literacy courses. The Islamic Society, founded by Khalil al-Qoqa in 1976, also provided financial assistance to needy families and ran clinics. But it especially emphasized religious instruction. Affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, the two societies stressed long-term social goals centered on the raising of Islamic consciousness as the means to liberate Palestine, rather than immediate confrontation with the Israeli occupier. They sought a Muslim society and state and denigrated any emphasis on Palestinian national identity.

The Islamist groups initiated violent confrontations with communists and PLO supporters in Gaza and the West Bank. The most extraordinary incident occurred on 7 January 1980 when some 500 men marched from a mosque in the center of Gaza City to attack the Red Crescent Society, smash liquor stores, burn movie houses, and wreck restaurants that served alcoholic drinks. Whereas soldiers would stop students the minute they demonstrated in the school yard, no one blocked the mob action on the main streets of the city.

Islamist groups also tried, unsuccessfully, to take over professional associations. [11] They did win a majority in the engineers union in 1981 but lost all but one seat in 1987 elections. In the Arab Medical Society, they never gained more than two or three seats out of eleven; pro-PLO and leftist doctors shared the majority position. The Islamist slate, however, dominated all elections for the student union at the Islamic University. The governing board and administrators favored that stance, which placed the nationalist bloc on the defensive and virtually shut-out the left. In December 1987, for example, the pro-Muslim Brotherhood Islamic bloc won 75 percent of the votes and all the seats in the women's council and 60 percent of the votes in the men's council. [12] In the mid-1980s there were violent clashes among students who supported different groups.

Particularly with the weakening of the PLO after 1982 and the diminished hope that its approach would succeed, the Brotherhood offered it- self as the viable alternative. The Palestinians would win if they would turn to God. Shaykh Yassin strongly opposed cooperation with the nationalists, much less the left. In one interview, he argued that unless the PLO adopted Islam as its ideology, Muslims must maintain a cautious distance: a Muslim who joins Fateh is like a Muslim who drinks wine or eats pork. [13] Thus, the non-religious Palestinians would have to be suppressed prior to any effort to counter Israel. Such an approach suited the Israeli government, since it turned one faction against the others and side- tracked Palestinians from confronting the occupation.

The public in Gaza was wary of the Brotherhood precisely because of the perception that Israel encouraged it. Slogans painted on walls in the Strip equated the Brotherhood with the Village Leagues, groups organized on the West Bank with Israeli funding and arms to support the status quo. Children sometimes stoned Brothers and, in an incident in Jabalya camp in 1984, residents drove away a group of Islamist men who threatened an active nationalist. [14] Some Islamists began to reject the approach of the Brotherhood and to link religion and Palestinian nationalism. They were undoubtedly influenced by the success of the Islamic revolution in Iran, which seemed to prove that a seemingly invincible ruler backed by the might of the United States could be toppled by a popular, religiously-based uprising. Ironically, Israel also heightened the link between religious mobilization and nationalism by its reaction to the protests following the attack at al-Aqsa Mosque in April 1982. The soldiers' violence against worshippers shocked the public. Nationalist protest merged with religious outrage.

By then, some Islamists had begun to reject the approach espoused by the Brotherhood. Youths who had participated in activities of the Islamist societies often became disenchanted with their anti-nationalist and anti-activist stance. Other youths, who had been secular nationalists, moved toward Islamic orientations while in prison. Quranic study groups and articulate Islamic leaders in jail impelled them toward a piety linked to their nationalist belief. They were also inspired by the Shi'a militants in Lebanon, whose suicide car bombs and unremitting harassment of Israeli soldiers played a crucial part in inducing the Israeli government to withdraw in 1985. The Islamic Jihad was the key group to emerge in Gaza in the mid-1980s.

Imad al-Saftawi provides an interesting case study of the transformation to the more activist and nationalist approach adopted by the Islamic Jihad. [15] His father, who taught in an UNRWA school, was jailed from 1969 to 1974 for membership in Fateh. Imad was imprisoned from 1978 to 1979 when he was fifteen years old. According to his father, Imad decided during that time to devote his life to the prophet Muhammad and to work underground, using violence if necessary. He criticized the PLO as too weak and too prone to making concessions. Imad was active in the Islamic Charitable League, but criticized it for emphasizing only religious rituals. He wanted to undertake militant struggle. His father added:

Palestinian children have been deprived of seeing the Palestinian flag fluttering over their kindergartens and schools. For the last twenty years they have been denied the right to sing the Palestinian national anthem. . .Palestinian Muslims observe these negative factors and adopt the doctrines of Islamic Jihad. They have nothing to lose by fighting Israel. They will either win the fight or fall as martyrs to the cause. By adopting Islamic doctrine, the mujahedi (self-sacrificing) fighters will be tougher. My son is one of them. [16] 

Imad was apparently a founding member of the Islamic Jihad, whose existence was first reported publicly when members attacked Israeli infantry recruits at a ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem in October 1986. They killed one soldier and wounded sixty-nine when they threw grenades into the crowd. At their trial, they chanted: "Jews, beware, Muhammad's army from Khayber is returning" [17] (a reference to the battle of Khayber in A.D. 628 when the Prophet defeated the Jewish tribes in eastern Arabia). Imad, charged with stabbing three Israelis to death in Gaza, was jailed a second time in December 1986. In May 1987 he escaped along with five other prisoners from the main prison in Gaza, before his trial was completed. Soon after, he broadcast a defiant message on the PLO radio in Baghdad. By then, Islamic Jihad was cooperating with Fateh, which provided Jihad members with training, arms, and guidance in operations. The common opposition to Israeli rule took precedence over doctrinal differences.

As the Muslim Brotherhood lost supporters to Islamic Jihad, its leaders began to adopt more militant tactics. In 1984, Shaykh Yassin and twelve other Brothers were arrested and an arms cache was uncovered. [18] Yassin received a thirteen-year sentence, but was released in May 1985 in a large-scale prisoner exchange. Observers differed on the aims of Yassin's underground group. Some argued that they were planning attacks against other Palestinians, whereas others maintained that they were about to initiate attacks on Israelis in order to prove their own militancy. In any event, soon after that the Israeli government began to put controls on the Islamic societies. It closed the two health centers run by the Islamic Charitable League, which Yassin had headed, and made it stop distributing zakat. Israeli officials may have realized that they had opened a pandora's box by encouraging the Islamist trend. Once mobilized, its adherents might prove less amenable to a negotiated resolution of the conflict than the nationalists and the left.

Important social changes occurred during the 1980s: the demise of the landed elite, the growth of a professional middle class, and the assertion of an Islamic alternative. Those social changes were coupled with a deteriorating economy, a drop in job opportunities in Israel and the Gulf states, and an accelerating land expropriation and Jewish settlement. It proved an explosive mix.

Mobilization Prior to the Intifada

In the year before the intifada broke out, Gaza experienced a significant increase in both organizational activities and violent confrontations. Some of the tactics paralleled those used later in the intifada and indicated that for some Gazans the "barrier of fear" was already broken.

One area of heightened activity involved the trade unions. [19] The Palestine Labor Federation in the Gaza Strip was founded in 1964, with six affiliates. Israel closed it in 1967 and did not allow it to reopen until 1980. Restrictions virtually crippled its operations. The federation and affiliates were allowed to reregister pre-1967 members but not to recruit new members, hold elections, or hire staff. An Israeli officer had to be present at all meetings and the federation was compelled to appoint as president a person of the government's choice.

Despite the ban on elections, the affiliates decided to hold them in 1987. The Union of Carpentry and Construction Workers conducted elections on 21 February and the Union of Workers in Commerce and Public Services held elections on 4 April. The latter elections had to take place at the Red Cross office since Israeli border guards had closed the area of the union headquarters. Security forces had raided the office on 2 April, arrested some members and confiscated documents. Nonetheless, three-quarters of the members voted. During the summer and fall, troops periodically cordoned off and raided union premises and called in union officers for interrogation. Israel demanded that they cancel the election results and put some unionists on trial for membership in an illegal organization. Although the other affiliates were unable to hold their elections, the effort signaled a new level of determination and consciousness on the part of the previously moribund union movement.

Social activist groups also became more prominent during 1987 and made concerted efforts to bring together the diverse political forces. In February, the Federation of Charitable Societies initiated a campaign to collect donations for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. [20] Demonstrations protested the Amal attacks on camps near Beirut, while women held a four-day sit-in on the issue at the Red Cross. The dismay at the besieging of the camps by Syrian-backed Lebanese Shi'a helped to reunite the political factions that had been bickering. [21] 

Meanwhile, the Palestine National Council (PNC) session held in Algiers in April formally ended the major rifts in the PLO. The Popular Front and Democratic Front resumed their seats after a four-year boycott, and the Communist party joined the executive body for the first time. Only the Abu Musa faction of Fateh and the Popular Front-General Command refused to attend the meeting. Since those groups had few adherents in the occupied territories, their absence had little impact on the grassroots level.

Soon after the PNC there was a noticeable increase in cooperative projects. For example, the four Working Women's Committees in Gaza and the West Bank, which had been rent by splits, held unified meetings for the first time as a model for national unity. They also cosponsored a medical day with the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees on 28 July 1987. [22] The committees, initiated in 1982, had set up two clinics in the Gaza Strip. Their mobile clinic served fifteen villages and refugee camps-the only medical program that actively assisted both segments of the Gaza residents. On the medical day doctors offered free treatment to 190 patients and promoted health education efforts. The Israeli government was wary of the political implications of the medical outreach programs but responded more cautiously than it had with the trade unions. Doctors who worked in government hospitals were warned not to participate in the medical relief committees. A leading activist, Dr. Zakaria al- Agha, was dismissed as head of the surgery department of the government hospital in Khan Yunis in August as a warning to other medical personnel. His dismissal led to widespread protests by professional and trade unions and charitable societies. [23] 

Students on the campus of the Islamic University were already highly politicized. Nationalist, communist, and Islamist groups vied for influence. Although the Muslim Brotherhood dominated the student council, Islamic Jihad also won adherents. Israeli forces not only entered the cam- pus to quell protests but also to arrest key student leaders. (At West Bank universities, being elected to the student council almost guaranteed detention or deportation. [24]) The military government first cracked down on the nationalist students organized through Fateh's Shabiba (youth) movement. It arrested a Shabiba leader on 13 December 1986 and deported him on 26 January 1987. The expulsion of the 24-year-old student led to demonstrations and student marches that culminated in a massive rally at the mosque in Khan Yunis, his home town, on 29 January. [26] Soldiers opened fire on the mosque and killed one person, which triggered further protests. The soldiers and students played cat-and-mouse throughout the next month: students demonstrated against the occupation, soldiers tear- gassed the campus, and the government closed the university for several days at a time. Protests surged again in late May when the government arrested and deported a second leader of Shabiba. A 32-year-old resident of Khan Yunis camp, he had been released in the prisoner exchange of May 1985. [26] The protests were supported by the communist and Islamic Jihad students. Even those connected with the Muslim Brotherhood were swept up in the demonstrations, despite their organization's hostility to Fateh.

During the fall, the government turned against Islamic Jihad activists on the campus. In October 1987, the military government called in a university lecturer, Abdel Aziz Odeh, and accused him of incitement during Friday prayers in the mosque in Bayt Lahiya village. [27] Odeh's arrest a month later led to a student sit-in at the university and its closure for two weeks. Odeh fought in the courts against the expulsion order, which was not carried out until 11 April 1988, when the intifada raged. Soon after his arrest, representatives of all the national associations met to condemn the expulsion order, signalling the solidarity of the political movement. Even the university officials, linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, had to rally to Odeh's side.

Odeh was a particularly interesting figure. He served as imam (prayer leader) of both the Anan Mosque near Beach camp and the Izz al-Din al- Qassam Mosque in Bayt Lahiya as well as lecturer at the religious institute affiliated with the Islamic University. Educated in Egypt, he was jailed for eleven months in 1985 for inciting the public through his religious speeches. He also spent a year under town arrest and was in his thirties when he was deported. Odeh closely linked the Islamic and Palestinian perspectives: "We consider the central cause of the Islamic movement to be the Palestinian cause. There is an inseparable connection between serving Islam and serving Palestine." [28] He argued that Palestine has both religious and strategic importance: a blessed land and a key battlefield in the struggle of Arabs and Muslims against the challenge posed by the Jews, Zionists, and the West. He agreed with the PLO that Israeli occupation is the primary problem, even though he differed with it on the role of Islam. Odeh commented that the Islamic movement (meaning, presumably, Islamic Jihad) would not "use violence against national forces. We respect the opinion of the mainstream and all nationalist groups since we believe that dialogue is the only means to reach mutual understanding." [29] For Odeh, jihad was an act of self-defense, a necessary component of the struggle against the occupier and its unjust acts.

The student council elections at the Islamic University, held on 1 and 6 December, the very eve of the uprising, came at a time of high tension over Odeh's arrest. Feelings were also aflame over the Amman Arab summit in November, where the problems of the Palestinians living under occupation had been ignored in favor of the Iran-Iraq war. The summit welcomed Egypt back into the Arab fold as a counter to Iran, even though the Israeli ambassador remained in Cairo. And Arafat had been kept on the sidelines, not treated as a head of state equivalent to the other participants. PLO-supporters were embarrassed and angered, and demonstrations in Gaza decried the humiliating treatment. [30]

In the student elections, the Brotherhood's Islamic bloc swept the seats, with 75 percent of the women's votes and 60 percent of the men's votes. [31] The nationalists, hampered by the deportation of their leaders, won only 17 percent of the vote among women but 29 percent among men. The leftist bloc received a mere 2 percent of the female vote and withdrew from the men's elections, having made the tactical mistake of not forming a bloc with the nationalists. Islamic Jihad contested the women's elections for the first time and garnered only 2 percent, but its standing among the male students rose significantly: Jihad won only 7 percent of the votes in 1986 but 11 percent in 1987. With a turnout rate of nearly 80 percent in the elections, student politicization as well as polarization was high. Political groups cooperated in certain demonstrations and protests but competed fiercely for influence.

Escape from Prison

Islamic Jihad not only attracted influence for its militant stance but also for its daring operations. On 18 May 1987, six prisoners escaped from the central Gaza prison by sawing off window bars while inmates chanted Ramadan prayers. They leapt from the second floor rest room and escaped into the slums of the city. [32] One was recaptured and another (mentioned earlier) escaped abroad, but the others remained underground in the Gaza Strip. The military government was embarrassed by the escape, but the public was amazed and admiring.

The escapees then planned attacks against Israeli soldiers. In mid-June they struck an Israeli military vehicle in Gaza City with a grenade. But the most brazen operation occurred on 2 August 1987 during the feast of Id al-Adha, when they shot dead the commander of the military police at close range while he sat in his army jeep, stuck in traffic on a main street in Gaza City. [33] The assassination was considered to avenge the treatment of many Palestinians. The commander had headed the hated force that guarded detainees in Ansar II prison and that transported prisoners to and from military courts. The military police had been censured by Israeli officials for beating detainees after they were bound and for harassing the young people held in Ansar II.

The Israeli government reacted swiftly, imposing an unprecedented three-day closure on the entire Strip. The defense minister and chief of staff rushed there. Rabbi Meir Kahane and his supporters in Kach demonstrated on the site on 3 August and demanded the expulsion of all Palestinians from the Strip.

Throughout August and early September, violent attacks continued: a firebomb thrown at an Israeli vehicle in the Gaza market; a nighttime attack on an Israeli soldier near Jabalya camp; remote-control bombs in Gaza town. Each attack led to lengthy curfews and house-to-house searches. Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin threatened:

We will not lift the iron fist policy imposed on the Gaza Strip. We are involved in the climax of a continuing war against "terrorism" in Lebanon and in Judea and Samaria. It is an endless war and we have to take measures to reduce military attacks to a minimum. [34] 

Nonetheless, tension escalated when three more leaders of Islamic Jihad escaped from Nafha prison in southern Israel on 20 September. They hid for several days inside the Gaza Strip before they tried to cross into Egypt. Captured at the border on 26 September, hidden in hay on a truck their arrest led to a massive sweep against members of the Islamic Jihad. [35] Jittery soldiers manned checkpoints throughout the Strip.

On 1 October, soldiers at an isolated checkpoint near Burayj camp shot dead three persons in a car that they claimed failed to stop at the barrier. [36] The bodies of a middle-aged engineer and a building contractor were riddled with bullets. The army identified the third person only ten days later, claiming he was one of the detainees who escaped in May. His mother had been held from 22 September to 14 October on suspicion of hiding him, and many Palestinians believed that he had been arrested in the late September roundup of Jihad activists. They maintained that he had already been tortured to death and argued that the claim that he was shot at the checkpoint was a cover-up. That version cannot be confirmed.

Soldiers were decidedly skittish that fall. In another incident, on 17 October, a car skidded at the checkpoint outside Nusayrat camp and hit the barrier. The soldiers shot point-blank at the four persons inside, wounding the nurses and medical staff riding in the car. [37] 

The denouement came on 6 October when passengers riding in a car in Gaza City opened fire on Israeli soldiers. They killed a Shin Bet officer. All four Palestinians, two of whom had escaped from prison in May, were killed in the ensuing chase. The Gazans hailed them as martyrs and some 2,000 marched to their homes following prayers on 10 October. [38] Soldiers shot tear gas and live ammunition at the mourners and arrested fifty more Jihad suspects. The deaths led to ten days of riots at the Islamic University, where the four had studied. When their families' houses were demolished, violent demonstrations broke out again.

The exploits of Islamic Jihad captured the popular imagination and "intensified already highly charged nationalist sentiments." [39] Although the ranks of the Islamic Jihad were severely depleted by arrests, their actions had a major impact on galvanizing and emboldening the public.

Confrontations with Israelis

Student and general public confrontations with Israelis increased markedly during the year before the intifada. Exactly a year before, two students from Gaza were shot dead on the Birzeit University campus. [40] The resulting demonstrations in schools and camps throughout the Strip led to the arrest of hundreds of schoolchildren. The army reopened Ansar II prison, which had been used for detentions in 1982. By 1987, some 250 young people were held there. Protests in the spring following the deportation of the two Shabiba leaders ranged from blocking roads with rocks to flying Palestinian flags to mounting a full one-day commercial strike.

In fall 1987, following the drama of the Jihad militants' escape, young children joined in the protests in greater numbers. On 10 September, for example, a military jeep broke down next to an elementary school in Nusayrat camp just as the students left for home. [41] Children surrounded the jeep and taunted the soldiers, who opened fire with live ammunition, wounding an elderly woman sitting in a doorway. Observers noted the children's fearlessness. In later demonstrations, students in Gaza City chanted "we are the sons of the fida'iyyin." [42] Students on the Islamic University campus also openly confronted soldiers. After increasingly violent demonstrations and counter-attacks by the army, two soldiers came onto the campus during the student council election on 1 December. Students surrounded the soldiers, but they fled. [43] A noticeable pattern of standing up to the armed forces emerged.

Violence also increased between Palestinians and Israeli settlers. During the spring there were several incidents in which Palestinians stoned Israeli cars, tossed grenades on an Israeli bus, stabbed a settler in Gaza City, and set an explosive under an Israeli car near Gush Qativ settlement bloc. By August, settlers were reported to walk armed in pairs when they ventured into Palestinian towns. [44] 

Settlers attacked Palestinians in order to assert their dominance and chastise the armed forces for not providing them with adequate protection. On 2 February, for example, a group of settlers raided Maghazi camp where they beat with clubs and gun butts people walking on the streets. The soldiers stationed outside the refugee camp did not restrain the settlers and offered no assistance to the Palestinians. [45] The settlers claimed that they were avenging eight stonings of their cars the previous week. Two Palestinian women were rushed to the hospital as a result of the beatings and a teenager suffered a fractured skull. In other incidents, a settler fired on Rafah schoolboys who stoned his car, and an armed settler attacked students at a school. [46] 

In two bizarre incidents, settlers kidnapped children standing outside their homes. On 19 April, three armed settlers from Gush Qativ seized an eight-year-old boy near Burayj camp. [47] Israeli police responded to the family's plea for assistance and radioed a description of the car to the military roadblocks on the highway. Soldiers removed the boy from the car and took the settlers in to custody. But they were released on bail after three days and the Israeli prosecutor dropped the kidnapping case against them during the fall. In the second case, money appeared the motive for the kidnapping. The kidnappers seized a three-year-old boy on 30 June and held him for a week, demanding a IS 50,000 ransom for his release. [58] Police traced the phone calls to Ashkelon, an Israeli town just north of the Strip, and rescued the child. Those incidents made parents feel insecure and nervous. School children already faced risks from soldiers; now younger children appeared to face a new threat.

The threat to school children culminated in the death of Intissar al- Attar, a seventeen-year-old girl, on 9 November. [49] Shimon Yefrah, a settler who taught in a religious secondary school in Sderot (within Israel), was stoned by girls at a makeshift roadblock in Dayr Balah on his way to work. Yefrah followed the girls to their school and opened fire into the yard, shooting Attar in the back, killing her instantaneously. There was no evidence that she was one of the girls who had stoned him. Yefrah returned to his car and drove on to Sderot, where he taught for the rest of the day. Parents and students were terrified at the attack. The military governor tried to defuse their anger by paying condolences to Attar's family and assuring them that the perpetrator would be brought to trial. Nevertheless, Yefrah was released on bail on 17 December. Settlers danced and celebrated his release and vowed to form militias to protect themselves in the streets. By then the intifada was a week old.

The Pressure Cooker Explodes

The deaths of the workers in the van on 8 December blew the lid off the pressure cooker. [50] Massive demonstrations swept the Gaza Strip and continued for months despite lengthy curfews, injuries, and deaths. Within the first six weeks, twenty-seven Palestinians were killed by soldiers in the Strip and more than 200 injured. The army could contain the uprising by cutting off the Strip from the outside world, but the sprawling refugee camps were difficult to control. Even during curfews, residents managed to move within the camp and occasionally to demonstrate. Moreover, the line between refugee and Gazan blurred as protests ricocheted among camps, villages, and towns.

Although begun spontaneously, the intifada soon acquired structure through the Unified National Leadership of the Uprising (UNLU). Activists in Fateh, the Popular Front, Democratic Front, and Communist party shared the leadership of the movement. In the Gaza Strip, Islamic Jihad coordinated with the Unified Leadership, but the Muslim Brotherhood stood aside. Not until August 1988 did the Brotherhood create the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) as an alternative to the nationalists. [51] Hamas issued separate leaflets and called for general strikes on different days from the Unified Command. In September 1988 Hamas issued a forty-page charter that called for the mobilization of Muslims to protect the holy land of Palestine and opposed any political settlement with Israel. Hamas overbid the nationalists, rejecting any compromise with the Jewish state. The official Israeli media publicized their views, but for months no effort was made to detain such senior leaders as Shaykh Yassin.

Meanwhile, large-scale arrests sought to decimate the leadership of the national movement and deter residents from protesting. [52] Shabiba was banned in March 1988 and Dr. Zakaria al-Agha (the dismissed surgeon) was detained in April. Other doctors and lawyers were also detained, and the deputy head of the engineers union was deported in April. Several activists in Islamic Jihad were also deported, including Abdel Aziz Odeh, who, as mentioned above, had been arrested a month before the intifada. Khalil al-Qoqa, the anti-PLO head of the Islamic Society, and an imam of the Khan Yunis Mosque were also expelled to Lebanon. By late 1988, twenty-one of fifty-eight deportees came from the Gaza Strip, many of them former prisoners who were affiliated with Islamic Jihad.

Aside from Qoqa, senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood were not arrested until October 1988 when Shaykh Ibrahim al-Yazuri, director of the Islamic Charitable Society was detained. [53] Nonetheless, several administrators of the Islamic University were already held under six-month detention orders, and the university has remained closed since December 1987. The government finally arrested Shaykh Yassin in April 1989, along with 200 members of Hamas. [54] Charged with founding Hamas, smuggling $500,000 into Gaza for its operations, ordering the killing of three Palestinians for collaboration with Israel, and planning the kidnap- ping and killing of two Israeli soldiers, the trial did not begin until 3 January 1990.

Social changes that were well underway before the intifada have accelerated during the past two years. Young religious and secular nationalists from the camps, villages, and poor quarters of the towns have taken the initiative and structured the grassroots movement. The old landed elite has been swept aside. The death of Rashad al-Shawwa at age 79 on 27 September 1988 signalled the end of the paternalistic order. [55] Shawwa had feared the rise of young militants and uncontrolled violence. Ironically, his funeral occasioned major anti-Israeli demonstrations. A youth waved a large Palestinian flag from the roof of the mosque to the cheers and applause of the mourners, and soldiers dispersed the crowd at the cemetery with tear gas.

Islamic Jihad, which played a crucial role in initiating the intifada during 1987, has been severely weakened by detentions, deportations, and deaths. However, Hamas, which tried to create a new image for the Muslim Brotherhood and assert an uncompromising political stance, has failed to displace Fateh and the mainstream nationalists. Much of the public still mistrusts its intentions and questions the realism of its goals. The declaration of a Palestinian state and call for a negotiated solution, which won a strong majority at the PNC of November 1988, remain the preferred route for most Gazans. Hamas acknowledged that reality by reaching an accord with the PLO in 1989 that provides for Hamas to support the PNC resolutions until independence is achieved. Subsequently, Hamas will compete alongside the other political forces in the parliamentary arena.

The intifada differs significantly from the uprisings of the past. Violence has remained secondary to political mobilization, in contrast to the guerrilla movement of the late 1960s. Moreover, intense military repression has fueled further protest rather than cowing the Gazans. Significantly, the middle-class professionals have played a secondary, supportive role in the intifada, rather than making their guild demands the focus of strikes as occurred in 1981. Doctors and other medical personnel treat the wounded and offer training in first aid. Lawyers boycott the military courts but help to publicize the grievances of the prisoners. Merchants open their shops for only three hours daily and participate in frequent general strikes. Their participation is essential to the continuation of the intifada, but the actions of the residents of the camps and towns ensure its breadth and depth.

The groundwork for the intifada was laid in the social transformations of the 1980s and the heightened activism of 1987. Peres's simple solution of demilitarizing the Gaza Strip and leaving the residents to their own devices is no longer feasible. Nor is Rabin's iron-fisted determination to smash the uprising a serious solution. The political core of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict must be confronted if any resolution is to be achieved.


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Ann M. Lesch is associate professor of political science at Villanova University. Her most recent book is Israel, Egypt, and the Palestinians: From Camp David to Intifada, with Mark Tessler. 

1. Al-Fajr 13 December 1987, pp. 1, 14; 20 December 1987, p. 1; 27 December 1987, p. 1.

2. Ziad Abu-Amr, "The Palestinian Uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip," Arab Studies Quarterly, 10:4 (Fall 1988), p. 388; al-Fajr 13 December 1987, p. 4; 20 December 1987, p. 10, quoting Ha'Aretz 8 December 1987.

3. A.M. Lesch essays on the Gaza Strip are the bases for the historical material; reprinted in A.M. Lesch and Mark Tessler, Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989), pp. 223-54.

4. Joan Mandell, "Gaza: Israel's Soweto," Middle East Report no. 136-37 (October December 1985), p. 10.

5. Mandell, p. 18.

6. A.M. Lesch and Mark Tessler, "The West Bank: Political and Ideological Responses to Occupation," The Muslim World, LXXVII (1987), p. 248. (Article reprinted in Lesch and Tessler, op. cit.).

7. Jerusalem Post 15 October 1988, essay on Shawwa after his death.

8. On Israel's economic policies, see Sara Roy, "The Gaza Strip: Critical Effects of the Occupation," Arab Studies Quarterly, 10:1 (Winter 1988), pp. 59-103. She notes (p. 96) that each of the 2,150 settlers in 1986 has 2.6 acres. In contrast, the Palestinian camp dwellers have .006 acres per person.

9. Mandell, p. 18.

10. Al-Fajr 6 September 1987, pp. 8-9; see also 19 July 1987, p. 8.

11. Al-Fajr 6 September 1987, p. 8.

12. Al-Fajr 6 December 1987, p. 15; 13 December 1987, p. 14.

13. Al-Fajr 6 September 1987, p. 8.

14. Mandell, p. 16; she also mentions the slogans on the walls.

15. Middle East Times 1 November 1987, p. 1; al-Fajr 19 July 1987, p. 8; 6 September 1987, pp. 8-9; 25 October 1987, p. 16.

16. Al-Fajr 25 October 1987, p. 16.

17. Middle East Times 1 November 1987, p. 1.

18. Mandell, p. 16; al-Fajr 6 September 1987, p. 8. 

19. Mandell, p. 15; al-Fajr 27 February 1987, p. 1; 6 March 1987, p. 2; 27 March 1987, p. 14; 3 April 1987, pp. 12, 14; 31 May 1987, p. 2; 14 June 1987, p. 14; 2 August 1987, p. 14; 20 September 1987, p. 14.

20. Al-Fajr 20 February 1987, pp. 2, 12; 27 February 1987, p. 14.

21. Anita Vitullo, "Uprising in Gaza," Middle East Report, no. 152 (May-June 1988), p. 18.

22. AI-Fajr 6 March 1987, p. 5; 20 March 1987, pp. 3, 9; 2 August 1987, p. 14.

23. Al-Fajr 23 August 1987, p. 3; 30 August 1987, p. 14.

24. For example, the military government in November 1987 placed the president of the student council of Bir Zeit University under six-month town arrest in his home in the Gaza Strip. Al-Fajr 15 November 1987, p. 14.

25. The student was named Muhammad S. Dahlan. Al-Fajr 6 February 1987, pp. 1, 14.

26. The student was named Ahmad Nasr. Al-Fair 31 May 1987, pp. 3, 14; 7 June 1987, p. 3.

27. Al-Fajr 18 October 1987, p. 15; 22 November 1987, pp. 14, 15; 29 November 1987, pp. 14, 15; 6 December 1987, p. 14.

28. Al-Fajr 23 August 1987, p. 9.

29. Al-Fajr 23 August 1987, p. 9.

30. Al-Fajr 15 November 1987, p. 14.

31. Al-Fajr 6 December 1987, p. 15; 13 December 1987, p. 14.

32. Al-Fajr 31 May 1987, p. 2; Abu-Amr, p. 387.

33. Al-Fajr 9 August 1987, p. 1; 16 August 1987, pp. 14, 15; 21 June 1987, p. 14; Vitullo, p. 19.

34. Al-Fajr 23 August 1987, pp. 1, 15; 16 August 1987, p. 14; 6 September 1987, p. 14. 

35. Al-Fajr 4 October 1987, pp. 3, 14. All three escapees-age 27, 33 and 37-had been sentenced. Two were serving life sentences for killing a collaborator and killing an Israeli police officer (in October 1973), respectively. The third was serving a seventeen-year sentence for possessing a bomb and throwing grenades at soldiers (sentenced in 1984).

36. AI-Fajr 4 October 1987, p. 1; 18 October 1987, pp. 1, 14, 15; 25 October 1987, pp. 1, 14. The respected Israeli journalist Nahum Barnea wrote in Koteret Rashit on 23 December that tharmy spokesman lied when he claimed the 1 October shooting was a chance encounter. Barnea stated that the army deliberately ambushed the car.

37. Al-Fajr 18 October 1987, p. 1; 25 October 1987, p. 14.

38. Al-Fajr 11 October 1987, pp. 1, 15; 18 October 1987, p. 4; 25 October 1987, p. 1; 1 November 1987, p. 15; 8 November 1987, p. 2; Middle East Times 1 November 1987, p. 4.

39. Abu-Amr, p. 387.

40. Vitullo, p. 18.

41. Al-Fajr 13 September 1987, p. 15.

42. Al-Fajr 18 October 1987, p. 4.

43. Al-Fajr 6 December 1987, p. 1. Other incidents included students at Faluja school stoning soldiers on 12 November (al-Fajr 15 November 1987, p. 15), residents of Jabalya camp attacking an army patrol on 6 November as it arrested a ten-year-old child and successfully preventing the soldiers from detaining him (al-Fajr 8 November 1987, p. 15), and students in Khan Yunis waving Palestinian flags and stoning army units on 1 December (al-Fajr 6 December 1987, p. 1).

44. Al-Fajr 23 August 1987, p. 15.

45. Al-Fajr 6 February 1987, p. 1.

46. Al-Fajr 6 February 1987, p. 1; 20 March 1987, p. 14.

47. Al-Fajr 26 April 1987, p. 15; 29 November 1987, p. 4.

48. Al-Fajr 5July 1987, p. 14; 12 July 1987, p. 14.

49. Vitullo, p. 20; Middle East Times 22 November 1987, p. 5; al-Fajr 15 November 1987, pp. 4, 15; 27 December 1987, p. 11. The latter includes a translation from Hebrew of an article by a member of the administrative council of the Israeli Teachers Union, Dr. Zipporah Sharoni, who decried the killing of Attar and asserted that a teacher should be the symbol of tolerance and humanity, not a killer.

50. An article by Avi Binyahu in al-Hamishmar, 17 December 1987, was entitled "Gaza: The Pressure Cooker has Exploded." For analyses of the intifada, see the author's "The Palestinian Uprising-Causes and Consequences," UFSI Report, No. 1 (1988) and numerous articles in various issues of Middle East Report, notably Melissa Baumann, "Gaza Diary," no. 152 (May-June 1988), pp. 13-17.

51. Analyses of Hamas can be found in Abu-Amr and Vitullo's articles as well as Lisa Taraki, "The Islamic Resistance Movement in the Palestinian Uprising," Middle East Report no. 156 (January-February 1989). Also note the newspaper articles in Middle East Times 3 September 1988, p. 5; 10 September 1988, p. 4; 1 October 1988, p. 2; New York Times, 21 October 1988; and 4 January 1990.

52. On arrests and deportations, see among other articles al-Fajr 27 March 1988, p. 1; 17 April 1988, p. 1; 15 May 1988, p. 14; 21 August 1988, p. 1.

53. Al-Fajr 16 October 1988, p. 14; New York Times, 21 October 1988.

54. New York Times, 4 January 1990.

55. Middle East Times 1 October 1988; al Fajr 2 October 1988; Jerusalem Post 15 October 1988.