Israel History: The first Intifada

Israel History - The first Intifada

The Intifada, with which the Palestinians want to shake off the Israeli occupying power, developed from the serious riots that began in the Gaza Strip on December 8, 1987 and then spread across the West Bank and East Jerusalem. On November 15, 1988, the Palestinian National Council of the PLO proclaimed the state of Palestine in Algiers and for the first time indirectly recognized Israel’s right to exist. This gave the PLO an international reputation, so that the USA also came to the conclusion that Israel should involve the PLO in peace talks.

It was on this question that in March 1990 the grand coalition, which had continued under Likud leadership after the elections on November 1, 1988, broke up. The government formed in June 1990 by the Likud bloc and religious parties under Y. Shamir emphasized its rejection of negotiations with the PLO and reaffirmed the further expansion of the settlement program in the occupied territories. Housing Minister A. Sharon , in view of the expected wave of immigration from the Soviet Union, launched a settlement program for the accommodation of newcomers in the occupied territories. Of the approximately 1.3 million immigrants, however, the majority were settled in the Negev (Beersheba). Check paradisdachat for Israel public policy.

In the 2nd  Gulf War(January / February 1991) Iraq sought to draw Israel into this war and thereby split the anti-Iraqi front among the Arab states. Iraq attacked the Jewish state with Scud missiles; at the urging of the USA, Israel refrained from taking any military countermeasures of its own. After the end of the war, this favored a climate in which multilateral peace negotiations between Israel and all Arab neighbors became possible for the first time, which began on October 30, 1991 in Madrid and then continued in Washington. However, Israel insisted that the Palestinians be part of the Jordanian delegation. Despite strong international criticism, Israel continued its settlement policy in the occupied territories during the conference, which led to their stagnation. After the parliamentary elections on June 23. In 1992 the Israel Labor Party, renamed Avoda, took over government responsibility; Prime Minister I. Rabin (from July 13, 1992) announced a change in the settlement policy under the idea of ​​”Land for Peace”: A large number of state-financed construction projects and planned industrial projects should be discontinued, over 10,000 houses under construction, especially in strategically important areas in the region around Jerusalem, in the Jordan Valley and on the Golan Heights, should be completed. On March 24, 1993, the Knesset elected E. Weizman as President (re-election 1998; resignation 2000). After the Knesset lifted the ban on all contact with the PLO on January 20, 1993 and thus legalized direct negotiations with the leadership of the PLO, on September 13, 1993, after secret negotiations mediated by Norway in Oslo, an agreement in principle on provisional Palestinian partial autonomy (Gaza Jericho Agreement).

In it, the PLO recognized Israel’s right to exist and Israel recognized the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. With the agreement, both sides reached a new level in their relationship, which they sought to clarify and substantiate through further agreements in 1994/95 (Nobel Peace Prize for I. Rabin , S. Peres and J. Arafat 1994).

On October 26, 1994, Israel signed a peace treaty with Jordan. After the assassination of Prime Minister I. Rabin (November 4, 1995; by an Israeli extremist), the peace process was continued under the successor S. Peres , but after the direct election of B Netanyahu (Likud Bloc) to prime minister soon to a halt.

Netanyahu’s government, formed in June 1996 as a coalition of the Likud with four right-wing and religious parties, sought to modify the Israeli-Palestinian agreements and intensified the settlement policy in the autonomous areas, which was never discontinued under S. Peres. After tough negotiations, a further partial withdrawal was agreed in the Hebron Agreement (early 1997). On October 23, 1998, B. Netanyahu and J. Arafat concluded the 1st Wye Agreement under American pressure in Wye-Plantation  ; however, it was no longer implemented during B. Netanyahu’s tenure.

After – early – elections on May 17, 1999, E. Barak (Israeli Labor Party, in the electoral alliance “One Israel”) formed a broad coalition of the Shas party, the center movement Schinui, the Meretz faction, Israel Ba-Alija, the National Religious Party and the List United Torah Judaism. His efforts to continue the peace process in the spirit of I. Rabin and S. Peres (ministers for regional cooperation from 1999) were not supported by the three religious coalition partners or the Russian immigration party Israel Ba-Aliyah. True, those came under B. Netanyahu final status negotiations with the Palestinians (1999) that did not materialize are under way, but E. Barak already conducted negotiations with J. Arafat on a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, which began in July 2000 with the mediation of US President B. Clinton at Camp David a majority in the Knesset. Camp David failed v. a. the incompatibility of the positions on the questions of the future status of Jerusalem and the future national territory of Palestine and its borders, the continued existence of Israeli settlements and the non-recognition of a right of return for refugees.

Negotiations on a peace treaty with Syria were broken off in January 2000, with no result, because Israel refused the complete withdrawal from the Golan Heights, which Syria had demanded as a precondition. In May 2000, without a peace agreement, the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon (former security zone) took place.

On July 31, 2000, M. Katsav (Likud) and not S. Peres was surprisingly elected to succeed the resigned President E. Weizman.

Israel History - The first Intifada