Facing Defeat: The Intifada Two Years On

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VOL. 32


No. 2
P. 21
Facing Defeat: The Intifada Two Years On

This overview of the intifada gives special attention to the intra-Palestinian dimension, notably the rise of the tanzim that preceded the uprising and, once the uprising began, the evolving inner dynamics of the Fatah movement and the Palestinian Authority (PA) under the impact of the crushing Israeli assault, international pressures, and so on. The author shows how, as the intifada enters its third year, the national movement is essentially split into three wings--the PA leadership, the young and still emergent Fatah leadership, and the armed resistance led by Hamas and Fatah offshoots--all following mutually incompatible strategies. In the author’s view, democratic elections, if allowed, could provide one way out of the impasse.

Graham Usher is the Palestine correspondent of the Economist and Middle East International and author of several books, including Dispatches from Palestine: The Rise and Fall of the Oslo Peace Process (Pluto Press, 1999).