The Gaza Strip and the West Bank have been under Israeli military occupation since 1967, when they were captured during the June War with Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. Contrary to international agreements, Israel has maintained tight military control over the Palestinian Occupied Territories and their Arab inhabitants. Furthermore, Israel has established settlements within the borders of the Occupied Territories. After twenty years of apparently tolerating the occupation, Palestinians startled the world by rising up to protest against Israeli military domination, illegal confiscation of land and water resources, humiliation, and physical abuse. The occupied Palestinian population began the "shaking off" — Intifadah — of political oppression and economic dependence on Israel. Intifadah protestors are mostly Palestinian women and youth organized and directed by the United National Leadership of the Uprising, who demonstrate in the towns, villages, and "refugee" camps of the Palestinian Occupied Territories. Their weapons are stones, burning tires, and Molotov cocktails hurled at heavily armed and shielded Israeli soldiers. They are answered with Israeli gunfire, tear gas, beatings, jailings, destruction of houses and property, intermittent shut-offs of electricity and water supplies, deportation, torture, and death, which often occur without any provocation. Although the Israeli government has a virtual monopoly of military force. it has been unable to quell the Intifadah.



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