Intifada stencil

Intifada stencil on the wall in Rome, Italy

The exact meaning of Third Intifada, most scholars[who?] agree, has not yet been clearly defined. However, it is currently being referred to Israeli–Palestinian conflict which forms part of the wider Arab–Israeli conflict. Some commentators[who?] claim that "Third Intifada" started with the start of Israel's 2008-2009 offensive in Gaza. Unlike the Second Intifada, which involved mainly groups of Palestinian such as Fatah[Neutrality is disputed], Hamas, Islamic Jihad and etc., this uprising is not characterized by acts of violence.

At the same time, there is a growing tendency among scholars to comprehend the notion that "Third Intifada" is rather "non-violent uprising with words sharper than a two-edged sword."[1] It has been suggested that Yasser Arafat, has had stated just before his death that the "Third Intifada" will not at all resemble to the past struggles for peace in Palestine, but would be a different kind of human involvement".[2]

Some insist that "non-violent resistance" is a better action to "defending against foreign invasions and occupations."[3] Third Intifada is also closely associated with concept of sumud, an ideological theme and political strategy that first emerged among the Palestinian people through the experience of the dialectic of oppression and resistance in the wake of the 1967 war.

At the opening speech of the 6th Fatah Movement Assembly in August 2009, Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas stated that popular resistance, a struggle by peaceful means, against occupant forces is the legitimate right of the Palestinian people.[4]


Palestinian child holds a sign on Land Day

A small Palestinian girl holds her drawning during an activity to mark Land Day in Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip.

The beginning and existence of a Third Intifada are disputed. Reasons include the fact the end of the Second Intifada was never properly determined, since no peace accord of any kind was signed between the sides. Speculations on the end of the Second Intifada range from somewhere in 2004 to 2005 or in the last months of 2008. Consequently, the beginning of a Third Intifada was already referred to as early as September 2005, when according to many opinions, the Second Intifada was still ongoing. Muhammad Ranaim, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, mentioned in September 2005 the possibility of a third intifada, which would be "much more severe than its predecessor," according to Ranaim, who referred to it as an "intifada against the Israeli West Bank barrier."[5]

Both, pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian scholars tend to attribute Arafat's words to the "recent internationally strong anti-war movement sentiments" that occurred during winter 2008-2009 Gaza War. According to some sholars, "this is a clear sign of emergence of an "inresistable worldwide 'current for peace'" which pursues swepting off the last despicable regimes across the world that practice merely "racist policies". Israeli professor of Law and Palestinian scholar, claim in the article published 10 July 2009, in "Al Jazeera" (re-produced later by Haaretz) "Where we are heading to?", that the "Third Intifada" has actually had already began with the Gaza War, "so the international liberal community, after being humiliated by inhuman acts "had developed a 'common resistance" against acts of "war and violence".[6][7][8]


The "Third Intifada" has been characterized by of random acts of violence by Palestinian individuals, Israeli army and Jewish settlers. Falling under the category of popular uprisings, the incidents vary in scale from stone throwing with no injuries to deadly terror attacks on all sides.

  • On 27 September 2009, on the day of Yom Kippur, a Jewish New Year, a group of Jews entered Temple Mount amid restriction for Jews to enter the area. A group of Palestinians threw stones at the group. As the incident escalated, hundreds of police officers were called to the site and clashed with Palestinians. As a result of the unrest, which said to be the biggest since 2000, 18 policemen and 16 Palestinians were injured, hundreds of Palestinians were arrested. Some sporadic clashes have continued through the night of 28 September in the east Jerusalem neighborhoods of Silwan and Isawiya and in the alleys of the Muslim Quarter. Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch commented on the disturbances during a tour of Judea and Samaria, saying "law enforcement would respond to future unrest in the capital with "a harsh and uncompromising hand." Amid calm, the arrests yet progressed on 29-30 September 2009.[9]
  • On 29 September 2009, a Palestinian gunman shot and wounded an Israeli civilian in the West Bank.[10]
  • On 30 September 2009, an Israel Defense Forces jeep hit and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian in the West Bank. The IDF called the incident an accident and said soldiers had come under attack from stone throwers.
  • On 24 December 2009 Rabbi Meir Chai, a resident of the settlement in Northern Samaria was killed on Highway 57, between Shavei Shomron and Einav in drive-by shooting. Gunmen were allegedly Palestinians. On 25 December 2009 Palestinian Authority security forces rounded up and interrogated some 150 suspects in connection with the attack. The same day in Nablus the IDF reportedly gunned down three Palestinian suspects. [11] [12] Israeli Human Rights group B'Tselem claims that Israeli soldiers may have executed two of the three Palestinian gunmen. Eyewitnesses suggest that the two Palestinians were unarmed and did not attempt to flee. On 26 December 2009 B'Tselem called on IDF to investigate the incident, at the same time IDF spokesman dismissed the claims.[13]
  • On 25 December 2009 Israeli forces killed three Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in an air strike and ground fire on suspicion they were trying to infiltrate from Gaza. A Hamas security source said the three shot in Gaza were apparently civilians collecting scrap metal in an industrial zone near the Israeli border. [14]

See also


  1. Eileen-Fleming/Third-Intifada-Uprising-Nonviolent-But-with-Words/1432702548.html| New book By Eileen Fleming
  2. Global Research. Center for Research on Globalization. "Intifada: A Third Chapter" by Ramzy Baroud, 21 March 2009. "So, what is a nation to do under such circumstances? Can stone throwing, general strikes and boycotting Israeli products deter such a scheme? More, what is the responsibility of the free world in this conflict? Will they sit by, as they did in the recent and tragic attacks on Gaza, and view the crimes from afar? Will they again expect Palestinians to bear down and endure such harsh and cruel realities, or will the onset of yet another popular revolution come as no surprise?"
  3. The Albert Einstein Institution. Nonviolent Action. Applications of Nonviolent Action. Accessed: 2 August 2009.
  4. MEMRI. "Fatah Members: "The Principle of Resistance and Armed Struggle Must Not Be Relinquished."" by C. Jacob, 6 August 2009. Retrieved: 27 August 2009.
  5. Ynetnews, 28 September 2005: "'Third intifada almost here'"
  6. AntiWar. The Third Intifada.
  7. The TimesOnline. "It’s time for a Third Intifada, say West Bank youths". 29 December 2008.
  8. Al Jazeera. Focus: 60 Years of Division. "Israel won the wars, lost the peace" by Mark LeVine. Mark LeVine is professor of history at the University of California Irvine and author or editor of half a dozen books dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and globalisation in the Middle East. He is also a contributing editor for Tikkun magazine. "If the emerging generation of Israelis and Palestinians can begin to think outside the nationalist and religious framework that has doomed older generations to perpetual conflict, the vision of Yiftachel and his Israeli and Palestinian comrades could take root before the sheer weight of the occupation erodes whatever glimmer of hope for peaceful coexistence remains. It is undoubtedly a long shot, but the alternative is violence on a scale that can no longer be managed by either side, with catastrophic results for Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East as a whole."
  9. Do J'lem clashes, Gaza rockets portend worse violence? By ABE SELIG AND YAAKOV KATZ. Accessed: 30 September 2009.
  10. Haaretz. IDF jeep hits, kills Palestinian teen in West Bank by Reuters. Accessed: 30 September 2009.
  11. Father of seven shot dead in West Bank terror attack. Last retrieved: 26 December 2009.
  12. PA arrests, releases 150 attack suspects. Last retrieved: 26 December 2009.
  13. B'Tselem: IDF may have executed unarmed Palestinian militants. Last retrieved: 26 December 2009.
  14. IDF kills terrorists who murdered Meir Chai; 3 killed in Gaza. Last retrieved: 26 December 2009.

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