Second Intifada

A mass Palestinian uprising against Israel’s military occupation, the second in about a decade. The Second Intifada erupted on September 28, 2000, when the leader of the Israeli opposition at the time, Ariel Sharon, entered the al-Aqsa Mosque with the approval of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and protected by about 2,000 Israeli soldiers and special forces. For this reason, it is also known as the al-Aqsa Intifada. Confrontations took place between worshippers and the armed forces, and this then escalated outward.

The Second Intifada was notable in that it merged Palestinians’ guerrilla warfare experience in Lebanon with the experience of the First Intifada in the occupied Palestinian Territories, which consisted mainly of protests and boycotts. It also was the last uprising to date in which the Fatah party remained at the head of the Palestinian political establishment, marking the beginning of the fragmentation of Palestinian politics. The Second Intifada ended without declaration, and its end date is disputed; many put its end in 2005, while others say it continued until 2007. By 2007, 4,228 Palestinians, 1,024 Israelis, and 63 foreigners had been killed, more than 50,000 Palestinians injured, and approximately 52,635 arrested.