During Al-Aqsa Intifada, the Palestinian resistance’ factions focused on developing their activities, and organized work against the challenges imposed by the occupation. The Palestinian resistance managed to execute organized operations, develop their military industries, and manufacture local rockets and shells that could target the occupation’s vehicles and gatherings.
In the Intifada, the Palestinian resistance carried out several martyrdom operations that paralyzed the Zionist security structure, and resulted in the killing and injury of tens of soldiers and settlers in the occupied lands of 1948. The resistance’ fighters raced to carry out operations of the sort. For example, Abdul-Baset Ouda executed the biggest martyrdom operation in Umm Khalid town in March 2002 with 36 Israelis dead. In addition, Saeed Al-Huteri executed the Dolphin Club operation in June, 2001 in Tel Al-Rabi’ killing 21 Israelis.
The martyrdom operations were carried out side by side with the break-ins to military posts and firing at the Israeli occupation forces. For instance, Mohammed Farahat broke into Atsimona settlement, which was built on lands in Rafah, killed 9 soldiers and injured 13 others. Al-Qassam Brigades carried out operations in Immanuel settlement first in December 2001 (10 Zionists were killed) and, second, in July 2002 (9 were killed) in west Nablus. Another example was ‘Death Alley’ operation that was executed by Al-Quds Brigades in Hebron in November 2002, which resulted in the death of 14 settlers.
Martyr Nabil Al-Areer, from Islamic Jihad, is considered the first executor of a martyrdom operation in the Second Intifada. He carried out the operation near Kissufim post that was built in Khan Yunis. As for the first female executor of a martyrdom operation, Wafaa Edris carried out an operation in Al-Quds in January, 2002, which led to the killing of a settler and injury of others. Finally, Reem Al-Riyashi was the first woman from the Gaza Strip to carry out an operation in January 2004 near Beit Hanoun Checkpoint that resulted in the killing of 4 Israeli soldiers.
Israeli Minister of Tourism Assassination
The Israeli occupation assassinated a huge number of political leaders, who were active in the Palestinian national work against it, such as Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Dr. Abdul-Aziz Al-Rantisi, Ismael Abu Shanab and Secretary General of the Popular Front Abu Ali Mustafa, and others. The occupation also assassinated several military leaders with Sheikh Salah Shehada in the lead.
The Palestinian resistance found it necessary to make the occupation pay for its crimes and assassination of Palestinian leaders. The Popular Front, therefore, carried out several operations inside the occupied lands of 1948, and assassinated the enemy’s Minister of Tourism Rehavam Ze’evi in a hotel in occupied Al-Quds in October, 2001.
Developing combat tools was essential to the Palestinian resistance at the time. It focused on the types of weaponry that could result in great losses at the occupation’s part and would prevent it from further committing crimes. Al-Qassam Brigades manufactured the first system of rockets and called it ‘Al-Qassam Rocets’ that hit the occupied cities and towns where the settlers had taken over.
The first Qassam rocket was fired in late 2001 at the settlements near the north of the Gaza Strip. Sderot was the first settlement to be hit by a locally-manufactured Palestinian rocket. The Palestinian resistance continued to develop its rockets until their aiming range increased.
Jenin Battle, from April 1st to 11th - 2002, is a significant stop in the history of the Palestinian resistance. The fighters stood united against the Israeli attack on the Camp. While 56 Palestinians were martyred and hundreds were wounded or arrested, 26 soldiers were killed and hundreds were wounded. In one of the ambushes by the resistance, 13 soldiers died at once.
During this battle, the Palestinian factions formed a structure that consisted of prominent leaders and figures from different factions. Some were martyred such as Mahmoud Tawalba and Abu Jandal; others were arrested and are still imprisoned such as Sheikh Jamal Abu Al-Haijaa, Hajj Ali Al-Safouri and others.
The Palestinian resistance followed unique tactics in the battle against the occupation’s army in the settlements and military posts. The fighters had dug tunnels under these locations and wired them with explosives which caused the occupation great losses. As a result, the occupation withdrew from the Gaza Strip because it could not handle the costs of protecting its soldiers and settlers from the shelling, explosions and break-ins. The withdrawal from the Strip is considered the most important achievement in the Intifada.
The first time the resistance used wired tunnels was in September, 2001 when the resistance blew a tunnel under Tarmid military tower in Rafah. However, the most powerful tunnel operation was Abu Holy’s when 7 Zionist soldiers were killed in June, 2004.
The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip was a huge setback to the Israeli expansion project and an important victory to the Palestinian resistance in its long-battle against the occupation.
Source : PALM Strategic Initiatives Centre