Current Palestinian Uprising: Al-Aqsa Intifadah [Updated January 5, 2001]   [open pdf - 141KB]

From the Summary: "The relative calm that prevailed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the Palestinian Central Council (PCC) decided to delay the declaration of Palestinian statehood on September 10, 2000, evidently masked a deep-seated frustration that many Palestinians felt toward the peace process. This frustration erupted after Likud party head Ariel Sharon led a tour of al-Haram ash-Sharif/Temple Mount on September 28, 2000, which Palestinians and many observers viewed as provocative. The ensuing protests sparked massive clashes involving Palestinian civilians, the Fatah Tanzeem, the Palestinian Authority (PA) police force, Israeli civilians (both Jewish and Arab), and the Israeli police and army. In turn, these clashes have created widespread disillusionment and outrage within the Israeli and Palestinian communities regarding the other's commitment to the peace process. As of January 10, 2001, 362 people were killed in these clashes, 306 of whom were Palestinians, 43 of whom were Israeli Jews, and 13 of whom were Israeli Arabs. The violence has also spread to Israel's border with Lebanon, triggering fear of a wider conflagration with Lebanon and Syria. Taking advantage of the chaos caused by demonstrations and clashes, Hizballah-a leading Lebanese Shi'ite organization-in a well-planned attack, captured three Israeli soldiers in the disputed Sheba'a Farms region. Hizballah has announced that it wants to exchange the soldiers for Lebanese and other Arab political prisoners currently held in Israeli jails. At this point, it appears that Hizballah is uninterested in opening up a full-fledged second front with Israel. Beyond Lebanon, the uprising has had significant implications, and has drawn widespread Arab and Islamic support for the Palestinian position. Members of 106th Congress responded to the al-Aqsa Intifadah by introducing bills that supported Israel's actions, encouraged the U.S. Administration to oppose any anti-Israel resolutions in the United Nations, called upon Palestinians to negotiate a resolution, and proposed cutting foreign assistance to the Palestinians if they did not stop the uprising."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL30713
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