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Armed Struggle and the Search for StateThe Palestinian National Movement, 1949-1993$
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Yezid Sayigh

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198296430

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198296430.001.0001

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Carving out the Guerrilla Sanctuary

Carving out the Guerrilla Sanctuary

(p.174) 7 Carving out the Guerrilla Sanctuary
Armed Struggle and the Search for State

Yezid Sayigh

Oxford University Press

The failure of their enterprise in the occupied territories left the guerrilla groups in flux, much as the June 1967 war had brought the legitimacy of the PLO leadership into question. Yet, as in 1948, defeat gave a new impetus to Palestinian nationalism. The debacle of the Arab states and armies, the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza by a despised Israel, and the exodus of another 300,000 refugees demolished many social and political certainties to which Palestinians clung. The challenge now was to embody their distinct national identity in an autonomous political institution. Armed struggle was the means for the emerging guerrilla movement both to assert its legitimacy and to carve out the sanctuary it needed in the Arab confrontation states. For a nationalist movement that lacked economic or social control over its constituency, it was also a means of political outbidding and manipulative mobilization.

Keywords:   guerrilla groups, PLO leadership, Palestinian nationalism, Arab states, Gaza

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