PLO, History of a Revolution: Intifada
A look at the intifada and Yasser Arafat’s struggle for statehood and recognition.
In the penultimate episode of this six-part series, Al Jazeera looks at the events that led to the intifada and Arafat’s formal declaration of the Palestinian state in 1988.
By 1987, the various factions of the PLO had come closer together after four years of internecine strife.
The Palestine National Council, the Palestinian parliament-in-exile, met in Algiers in April.
The different factions all agreed to cancel the Amman accords that had outlined a confederation between Jordan and the Palestinians.
National unity was the slogan of the time for the Palestinians as they sought to put behind them the bitter squabbles and factional fighting of the past.
That national unity was about to get a huge and popular boost from an unexpected place.
In December 1987, an Israeli driver killed four Palestinian labourers in Gaza and wounded nine when his car ran off the road.
The Israelis termed it an accident, but the Palestinians said it was premeditated murder.
The incident sparked an outbreak of Palestinian protests that spread like wildfire throughout the Occupied Territories.
The Intifada – or uprising – was born.
The intifada propelled the Palestinian issue onto the world headlines and back as the top agenda for the Arab world.
In November 1988, the Palestine National Council met in Algiers and Arafat declared the establisment of the State of Palestine.
But the Palestinians understood that establishing a state would require more than rhetoric. The PLO had no control of any territory.