The Second Intifada: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict – Part Twenty Nine
Camp David Summit
The 2000 Camp David Summit was a meeting at Camp David between the United States, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority from July 11 through July 25, 2000. It was an effort to end the Israeli–Palestinian conflict that ended without agreement but did influence Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Legislative Council to postpone the planned unilateral declaration of an independent Palestinian state on September 13 2000.
There were four principal obstacles to agreement:
- Jerusalem and the Temple Mount
- refugees and the ‘right of return’
- Israeli security concerns
The Second Intifada
The Second Intifada, a period of intensified Israeli-Palestinian violence, was the second Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation. It started in September 2000, when Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak made a visit to the Temple Mount, seen by Palestinians as highly provocative; and Palestinian demonstrators, throwing stones at police, were dispersed by the Israeli army, using tear gas and rubber bullets.
Both parties caused high numbers of casualties among civilians as well as combatants. The Palestinians by:
- suicide bombing
The Israelis by:
- air attacks
- targeted killings
- harsh reactions on demonstrations.
The death toll, including both military and civilian, is estimated to be about 3,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis, as well as 64 foreigners. The hostility took an extensive toll on both economies and societies. The cycle of violence, except for the short-lived Hudna in the summer of 2003; persisted as neither side was willing to negotiate until fire was halted.
Eventually, Yasser Arafat, the man thought by many to have engineered the Intifada and to have kept it alive through four years, died in November 2004. Palestinian elections in 2005 left Mahmoud Abbas in power. His initial efforts to bring order to the anarchy of the Palestinian territories and halt attacks against Israel caused Israeli PM Ariel Sharon to change his attitude towards negotiations; he ordered the significant reduction of Israeli military activity in the Palestinian territories and made for many humanitarian steps in order to help the Palestinian civilians. These trust-building steps, together with renewed security coordination between the two sides and the backing of the U.S., Jordan and Egypt led to the agreement on holding a summit.
Sharm el-Sheikh Summit
The Sharm el-Sheikh Summit of 2005 took place on February 8, 2005 when four Middle Eastern leaders gathered at Sharm el-Sheikh, a town at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, in order to declare their wish to work towards the end of the four-year Al-Aqsa Intifada. The four were: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon; Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority; Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak; and King Abdullah II of Jordan. Some consider the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit on 8 February 2005 the end of the Second Intifada, when President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon agreed to stop all acts of violence against Israelis and Palestinians and reaffirmed their commitment to the Roadmap for Peace.
Palestine: Part 30 – Israeli Disengagement