This article explains the current political role of the Palestinian youth by comparing the period shortly before the First and Second Intifadas with the current situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). It critically interrogates the oft-repeated assertion that the Palestinian youth are characterized by political anomie, showing that the political role of the youth in the OPT is constrained by three factors: Israeli occupation, oppression by Fatah and Hamas, and the political paralysis resulting from the split between these two dominant political organizations. However, the present youth activism challenges the policies of both Fatah and Hamas, and draws strength from its utilization of international cooperation and its popular practices. While it is still small, this youthful activism displays a determination, clear-headedness and independence that contrast with the political culture in the dominant factions of Palestinian politics.
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