By Akeel Rashid
The recognition of Jerusalem as the de facto capital of Israel by US President Donald Trump on Wednesday last week made many Middle East experts to predict the Third Intifada as the concomitant to his announcement. As the Muslim community around the world continues to cheer for the third uprising of Palestinians and calls forth an imaginary support for the same, at the same time, this article will briefly review the achievements and losses of previous two Intifadas that took place in late 1980’s and early 2000; besides, it will also consider the domestic and foreign aspects pertaining to them.
The first Palestinian uprising popularly termed as the Intifada that ensued following the death of four Palestinians in December 1987 when massive protests broke against the Israeli occupation of Gaza and West Bank. It ended after the signing of Oslo Accords between the Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). These were in the nature of a set of agreements aimed at achieving a peace treaty based on United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 that gives the Palestinian people “right to self-determination” and allows them to establish a state in Gaza and the West Bank in exchange of agreeing to permanently end attacks on Israeli targets. According to reports of various human rights groups, the first Intifada resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, nearly 90 percent of them estimated as Palestinians and roughly 16,000 of Palestinians got arrested during this period of uprising. The Oslo Accords till now have remained the most dominant approach at the international level to resolve the Palestine-Israel conflict.
The second Intifada (early 2000) was far gruesome that arose in the wake of failure of the Oslo peace process, when Ariel Sharon (Israeli general and politician) made a visit to the Temple Mount, which was seen by Palestinians as highly provocative. Finally in the year 2005, this uprising dwindled away to nothing in terms of achievements but the losses were high. About 1,000 Israeli and 3,200 Palestinians were killed as reported by the International media.
Since the outbreak of the second Intifada and subsiding of the same, the Palestine-Israel conflict has reached an impasse on negotiations. Israel has been successful in suppressing the two Intifadas. Also, it has exploited the violence of Palestinians by using it a cover to continue with its illegal drive of expanding its occupation of Palestinian territory and expansion of Israeli settlements which many world diplomats hold to be irreversible.
The rift between two dominant parties of Palestine namely Hamas and Fatah over their differing approaches towards the Palestine-Israel conflict remains a major cause as why the two Intifadas have yielded no better results for the Palestinians. The two parties have differed in many respects: Fatah is secular in Ideology while as Hamas is Islamist. Fatah considers negotiations as the possibility of solving the conflict but Hamas relies on armed resistance. The objectives of two parties are also a study in contrasts: Hamas does not recognize Israel but accepts a Palestine state on 1967 borders. Unlike Hamas, Fatah recognises Israel but agrees to build the Palestine state on 1967 borders. Although, Fatah and Hamas reached an agreement in October this year in order to end the decade long stalemate on Palestine-Israel conflict, there is still no guarantee that they will be supporting each other in the third Intifada.
The author is a student of International Relations (Peace and Conflict studies) at the IUST , Awantipora. He can be reached at: [email protected]