GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: the Near/Middle East
September 28, 2000: Ariel Sharon's visit to the al-Aqsa mosque marks the beginning of a second Arab intifada.

Ariel Sharon, leader of Israel's right-wing opposition party, Likud, visits the area around the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem accompanied by 1,000 armed policemen and riot forces. A large police presence at a site sacred to Muslims, together with the timing of the visit -- on the heels of failed talks to end Israeli occupation peacefully -- strike a nerve with many Palestinians. Clashes ensue between Palestinian rioters and Israeli soldiers. The Islamic resistance movement Hamas calls on Palestinians to storm Israeli army outposts in the Occupied Territories. This marks the beginning of the second intifada, or "shaking off," known as the al-Aqsa intifada. Violence spreads from Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem to northern Israeli towns such as Nazareth and Umm al-Fahem. By mid-December, more than 300 are dead, including 13 Israeli Arabs.

PBS Battle for the Holy Land: The Combatants: The Israelis /shows/holy/combatants/israelis. html

Brief portraits of Israel's key political and military leaders, including Ariel Sharon, Shimon Peres, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Benjamin Netanyahu, Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz, and Major-General Giora Eiland