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Intifada (انتفاضة intifāḍah) is an Arabic word literally meaning, as a noun, "tremor", "shivering", "shuddering".[1][2] It is derived from an Arabic term nafada meaning "to shake", "shake off", "get rid of",[1] as a dog might shrug off water, or as one might shake off sleep,[3] or dirt from one's sandals,[4] and is a key concept in contemporary Arabic usage referring to a legitimate uprising against oppression.[5] It is often rendered into English as "uprising", "resistance", or "rebellion". In the Palestinian context, with which it is particularly associated, the word refers to attempts to "shake off" the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories in the First and Second Intifadas,[5][6] where it was originally chosen to connote "aggressive nonviolent resistance",[1] a meaning it bore among Palestinian students in struggles in the 1980s and which they adopted as less confrontational than terms in earlier militant rhetoric since it bore no nuance of violence.[4]

Intifada may be used to refer to these events:

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Mary K.Roberson, 'Birth, Transformation, and Death of Refugee Identity: Women and Girls of the Intifada,' in Ellen Cole,Esther D Rothblum,Oliva M Espin (eds.) Refugee Women and Their Mental Health: Shattered Societies, Shattered Lives, Routledge, 2013 p.42.
  2. Ellen Canterow, 'Beita,' in Zachary Lockman, Joel Beinin, (eds), Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising Against Israeli Occupation, South End Press, 1989 pp.81-98 p.81
  3. David Pratt, Intifada, Casemate Publishers, 2009 p.20
  4. 4.0 4.1 Mary Elizabeth King, A Quiet Revolution: The First Palestinian Intifada and Nonviolent Resistance, Nation Books 2007 p.208
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ute Meinel, Die Intifada im Ölscheichtum Bahrain: Hintergründe des Aufbegehrens von 1994-1998, LIT Verlag Münster, 2003 p.10: 'Der Begriff der Intifada, der die Vorstellung eines legitimen Ausbebegehrens gegen Unterdrückung enthält, ist gegenwärtig ein Schlüsselbegriff in der arabischen Welt, von dem eine grosse emotionale Anziehungskraft ausgeht.'
  6. Sharif Kanana, 'Women in the Legends of the Intifada,' in Suha Sabbagh (ed.), Palestinian Women of Gaza and the West Bank, Indiana University Press, 1998 p.114.