Throughout the 1980s, Israel had increased the number of settlers in the Palestinian territories with the aim of gradual annexation, whilst growing Palestinian unemployment led to increased nationalist activity. On 8 December 1987 a number of Palestinians were killed on the northern border of the Gaza Strip in a road collision with Israeli armed forces. The situation quickly escalated, with large-scale protests and subsequent retaliation from the Israel Defence Forces. The Israeli crackdown on Palestinian protestors, which went by a policy of ‘might, power and beatings’, remained harsh even after many hundreds of protestor deaths. The Intifada unleashed Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, whose purpose was to carry out an armed struggle against Israel. Despite peace talks, they maintained an ongoing jihad and terror campaign against the Israelis. The Palestine Liberation Organization had recognized the state of Israel since November 1988 and asked for a two-state solution. International pressure mounted and Israel and the PLO eventually signed the Oslo I Accords in 1993.
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