Israel Record

Arab-Israeli Conflicts

Before the Creation of the State of Israel
The War of Independence

The 1956 Sinai Campaign
The 1967 War
After the 1967 War
The 1973 Yom Kippur War
The Israeli-Egyptian Peace
The Lebanon War
The West Bank and Gaza

Israel Record Contents

Seal of State of Israel


The question of the future of the West Bank and Gaza remained unresolved. As long as Arab and Palestinian leaders refused to recognize Israel's right to live in peace and security and engaged in terrorism and violence against Israeli civilians and soldiers, Israel had no choice but to maintain its control over the territories. Despite the improvement in economic and other conditions for Palestinians under Israeli occupation, Palestinian political aspirations were unfulfilled. The violent actions of various Palestinian groups and individuals compelled Israel to impose harsh security measures on the Palestinian population.

Palestinian collective frustration erupted in December 1987 in the form of a popular uprising against Israeli rule known as the intifada. At first a spontaneous outburst, the intifada developed into a well-organized revolt of violence and civil disobedience. Masses of civilians attacked Israeli troops with stones, axes, Molotov cocktails, hand grenades and firearms. In self-defense, Israel responded, often harshly. Israeli troops were not prepared to fight this kind of war. Among other problems, they received mixed signals from Israeli military and political leaders regarding how to contain the violence and in the wake of confusing directives, Israeli abuses occurred. The intifada also brought Palestinian internecine struggles to the forefront, and many Palestinians were murdered by their own brethren.

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