Thursday, March 19, 2015

Timeline of intercommunal violence in Mandatory Palestine

Timeline of intercommunal violence in Mandatory Palestine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia





  • Muslim intellectuals and politicians from throughout the Levant formed al-Fatat ("the Young Arab Society"), a small Arab nationalist club in Paris. They also requested that Arab conscripts to the Ottoman army not be required to serve in non-Arab regions except in time of war. However, as the Ottoman authorities cracked down on the organization's activities and members, al-Fatat went underground and demanded the complete independence and unity of the Arab provinces.[3]
  • January/February - The new Young Turk authorities allow Zionist groups to purchase land in Ottoman Syria.
  • January - First edition of the Arabic language newspaper Filastin published in Jaffa.


  • July 14 - First letter between the British Government and the Governor of Mecca. The exchange became known as the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence promises an Arab state in the Middle East in return for revolt against the Turks. That Palestine was part of this deal was confirmed during a 1918 War Cabinet meeting[4] but later denied by the British government.[5]


  • January 30 - Final letter of the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence sent to the Governor of Mecca.
  • May 16 - The Sykes-Picot Agreement was signed between Britain, France and Russia, in which it was agreed in the event of a successful conclusion of the war the former Ottoman lands of Palestine, Jordan and Iraq would become mandates for Britain, France would take control of Lebanon and Syria, whilst Russia would take large areas of Eastern Turkey and Istanbul.
  • June 10 - Beginning of the Arab Revolt against the Young Turk regime in Constantinople.




  • January 30 - The Supreme Council of the Peace Conference decided that the Ottoman Empire's Arab-dominated provinces would not be returned to Turkey.[8]
  • February 3 - The Zionist Organisation submits its plan for implementation of the Balfour Declaration and urges the selection of Great Britain as Mandatory for Palestine.[8][9]

Intercommunal violence in Mandatory Palestine[edit]


  • February 27 - Over one thousand protesters take part in an Arab nationalist demonstration in Jerusalem carrying banners bearing the slogans "Stop Zionist Immigration" and "Our Country For Us"[10] – a reference to Aliyah, the Zionist immigration coming mostly from Eastern Europe. Meanwhile Arab nationalists in Damascus are pushing for the establishment of Arab Greater Syria.
  • March 8 - A second large Arab nationalist demonstration takes place in Jerusalem.[11]
  • April 4–7 - The 1920 Palestine riots – violent 4-day riot against the Jews in Jerusalem's Old City. Muhammad Amin Al-Husayni was charged with inciting the Arab crowds with an inflammatory speech and sentenced by military court held in camera (private)[12] to ten years imprisonment in absentia, since he had already violated his bail by fleeing to Transjordan to avoid arrest. Zionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinskywas sentenced to 15 years in prison for the possession of weapons.
  • July 1 - Herbert Samuel sworn in as first High Commissioner. He announces the establishment of an Advisory Council consisting of 20 members: 10 British officials, 4 Muslims, 3 Christians and 3 Jews.[13]


  • March - Haganah, the Jewish underground military organisation, established.[14]
  • May 1–7 - Jaffa riots resulted in the deaths of 47 Jews and 48 Arabs, with 146 Jews and 73 Arabs being wounded. Most Arab casualties resulted from clashes with British forces attempting to restore order.[15] Thousands of Jewish residents of Jaffa fled for Tel Aviv and were temporarily housed in tent camps on the beach.
  • May 8 - The High Commissioner appoints Amin al-Husayni as Mufti of Jerusalem.[16] Al-Husayni turns from Damascus-oriented Pan-Arabism to a specifically Palestinian ideology centered on Jerusalem, which sought to block Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine. The frustration of pan-Arab aspirations lent an Islamic colour to the struggle for independence, and increasing resort to the idea of restoring the land to Dar al-Islam.[17]
  • December - The Mandate authorities issue an order creating a Supreme Muslim Council to administer Muslim owned charitable properties, Awqaf, and appoint (or dismiss) judges and officials in the Shariacourts.[19]


  • June 30 - The United States Senate and House of Representatives adopt a joint resolution favouring "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."[9]
  • August 10 - The British authorities announce the setting up of a Legislative Council consisting of 11 British official and 12 elected members: 8 Muslims, 2 Christians and 2 Jews.[20]
  • September 16 - The Council of the League of Nations accepts the British Transjordan memorandum defining the limits of Trans-Jordan and excluding that territory from the provisions in the Mandate concerning the Jewish national home.[21]
  • October - First British census of the population of Mandatory Palestine.


  • Elections for the proposed Legislative Council fail due to the extent of the Palestinian Arab boycott. An attempt is made to expand the Advisory Council but this also fails when only three Palestinian Arabs could be found who were willing to join.[22]
  • October 4 - Secretary of State for the Colonies, the Duke of Devonshire, proposes the setting up of an Arab Agency to have equivalent status to the Jewish Agency.
  • December 11 - Arab Agency unanimously rejected by Palestinian Arab leaders.[24]


  • Collective Responsibility Ordenance issued giving powers of collective punishment in rural areas. Introduced to combat feuding between communities. The powers included application of fines and demolition of houses.[25]


  • November - General strike in support of the Syria revolt.


  • British garrison in Mandatory Palestine reduced to one RAF squadron and 2 companies of armoured cars.[26]
  • March - General strike called in protest of the visit of the French High Commissioner of Syria, Henry de Jouvenel. Great Syrian Revolt continued in neighbouring French Mandate.


  • Muslim Brotherhood formed in Egypt. Promoted Islam as the basis of society. Became politicized after 1938, rejecting Westernization, modernization, secularization.


  • The 1929 Palestine riots erupt due to a dispute between Muslims and Jews over access to the Western Wall. 133 Jews killed and 339 wounded (mostly by Arabs); 116 Arabs killed and 232 wounded (mostly by British-commanded police and soldiers).
    • 1929 Hebron massacre: 67 Jews are massacred by Arabs. Many incidents of rape, torture, and mutilation are reported.[27]
  • Following the riots the British authorities agree to officially recognize the Executive Committee of the Palestine Arab Congress as representatives of Palestinian Arab opinion and to invite them to give evidence to the Commission of Inquiry.[28]


  • A fourth Palestinian Arab Delegation travels to London.
  • The British enlarge their garrison in Mandatory Palestine: They have two infantry battalions, 2 RAF squadrons and 4 squadrons of armoured cars. The Palestine Police Force is re-organised by Sir Herbert Dowbiggin and isolated Jewish settlements are given arms caches to be used if under attack.
  • May 12 - The Palestinian Arab delegation announce that the British Government has rejected their demands for the end to Jewish immigration, an end to land sales to Jews and the establishing of a democratic government in Palestine.
  • August 6 - The Jewish Agency is officially recognized by the British Government.
  • December - The International Wailing Wall Commission confirms Muslim property rights over the area.[citation needed]


  • Irgun Zvai Leumi (National Military Organisation) founded by the Revisionists with Zeev Jabotinsky as commander-in-chief.
  • April 11 - Three members of kibbutz Yagur were killed by members of a local Arab gang.
  • August - Demonstrations in Nablus against the storing of weapons in isolated Jewish settlements are broken up by police baton charges.
  • November 18 - Second British census of the population of Mandatory Palestine.[29]
  • December 16 - The Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin Husseini, chairs a Muslim Congress in Jerusalem which is attended by 145 delegates from all parts of the Islamic world.[30]



  • Nazis come to power in Germany.
  • October 27 - Following the discovery in Jaffa harbour of a large shipment of weapons destined for an address in Tel Aviv the Arab Executive calls a general strike. A demonstration in Jaffa led by the president of the Executive, Musa al-Husayni, turns into a riot in which a crowd of several thousand attacked the small force of policemen, who responded with baton charges and gunfire. 26 demonstrators and one policeman were killed. Amongst the 187 injured was 80-year-old Musa al-Husayni, who never recovered and died the following year. There followed six weeks of rioting in all the major towns in which 24 civilians are killed. The disorders were suppressed by the police, not the army. They are different from earlier disturbances in that the targets were British Government institutions rather than Jews.[31][32]
  • November 25 - All the major Palestinian Arab political parties, with the exception of Istiqlal, address a memo to the High Commissioner calling for democratic government, prohibition of the sale of Arab land to Jews, and the cessation of Jewish immigration.[33]


  • February - Special commission of enquiry, chaired by Sir William Murison, publishes its report into the 1933 disturbances.[34]



  • April 15 - Following the murder of 3 Jews in a robbery incident near Tulkarm, 2 Arabs are murdered near Petah Tiqva.
  • April 17 - During the funeral in Tel Aviv of one of the Jewish victims serious rioting breaks out in which 3 Jews are murdered. The Mandate authorities bring in Emergency Regulations by proclamation and curfews are imposed across Mandatory Palestine.[35]
  • April 20 - An Arab National Committee is formed in Nablus, subsequently other committees are formed in all the Arab towns and villages.
  • April 21 - Five main Palestinian Arab political parties call for a general strike.
  • May 6 - A meeting of the National Committees in Jerusalem announces a tax strike.
  • May 11 - British army reinforcements arrive from Egypt and Malta.
  • May/June - Jaffa port is closed, there are sporadic attacks on the railways and Jewish settlements. Armed bands appear in the hill country.
  • June 17 to 29 - large areas of Jaffa demolished by British Army.
  • August - Attempts by Amir Abdullah and Nuri Pasha fail to calm the situation in Mandatory Palestine. There is an increase in the number of attacks on Palestinian Jews, and on the oil pipeline and the railways. In mid-August Jewish acts of retaliation begin.[36]
September 7 - An additional division of British troops arrives. General Dill becomes supreme military commander.
  • September 22 - The British army launches an offensive against Arab rebels.
  • October 11 - Ibn Saud, Amir Abdullah and King Ghazi appeal to the Arab Higher Committee to call off the strike.
  • November - The Arab Higher Committee calls an end to the strike. Casualty figures taken from hospital records give the number of people killed during the six months of disturbances as: 195 Arabs, 80 Jews, 21 Army, 16 Police and Frontier Police, and 2 non-Arab Christians. In addition over 1,000 Arab rebels were killed.[38]


  • The mainstream Jewish paramilitary organization, the Haganah, maintains a policy of restraint, but the smaller Irgun (also called Etzel) group splits up and adopts a policy of retaliation and revenge.
  • October 1 - British authorities ban all Arab nationalist political organisations, including the Arab Higher Committee. Much of the rebel Arab leadership is exiled. Mufti al-Husseini escapes to the Kingdom of Iraq.


  • October 2 - Tiberias massacre. Arab rioters kill 19 Jews, including 11 children, and set fire to synagogues and Jewish homes.[43]


  • May 17 - The White Paper of 1939 calls for the creation of a unified Palestinian state. Even though the White Paper states its commitment to the Balfour Declaration, it imposed very substantial limits to both Jewish immigration (restricting it to only 75,000 over the next 5 years), and Jewish ability to purchase land.
  • September 1 - The Second World War erupts. The Haganah begins the smuggling of Jews from Europe to Mandatory Palestine to provide refuge from the Holocaust. Arab leaders are split: while some assist the Allies, others like Iraqi Rashid Ali and the Iraqi-based Palestinian Amin al-Husayni assist the Axis. Many of the Middle Eastern Jewish communities are hit by pro-Axis Arab regimes, and the early stage of Jewish exodus from Arab countries begins. Most Jewish and Arab Palestinian militant groups attain the policy of cease fire with each other and with the British.


  • Lehi (also known as the Stern Gang) – the most radical Jewish organization splits from Irgun.
  • On June 19 twenty Arabs were killed by Jewish extremists who mounted explosives on a donkey at a marketplace in Haifa.
  • June 29, 13 Arabs were killed in multiple shootings during a one-hour period.


  • November 27 - Al-Husayni arrives to Germany for a meeting with Adolf Hitler. He would remain in Berlin until the end of the war, playing a major role in formation of Muslim Waffen SS units and active work preventing thousands of Jewish refugees to escape the Nazis and reach Palestine.


  • Biltmore Conference, New York - for the first time, Zionists call for an independent state instead of a national home - cannot rely on Britain.
  • February 12 - Avraham Stern leader of the extremist Lehi group shot dead by British police whilst being arrested.
  • August 2 - British form the Palestine Regiment, consisted of 3 Jewish and 1 Arab battalions, which assist the British forces in North Africa against the Axis.


  • February 12 - After a period of reconciliation with the British, the Irgun launches a bomb attack on British immigration offices in Mandatory Palestine, no casualties reported. Soon after Lehi also renews its anti-British attacks.
  • October - Operation ATLAS. From Berlin, Palestinian Arab leader Amin al-Husayni plans an attack upon the Jews in Mandatory Palestine. A joint German-Arab commando unit is dispatched into Palestine with chemical weapons to attack the Jews of Tel Aviv. The parachutists' team members with the poison were caught near Jericho by Jordanian and British Police forces.[44]
  • Irgun resumes operations against Arabs and British, after realizing the World War II is nearing its end; it still restrains itself of attacking British military, not to impact the war efforts of the allies.
  • November - the Palestine regiment is reformed into the larger unit named the Jewish Brigade, which utilizes Jewish symbols. It participates in invasion of the Allies into Italy.


  • May 8 - Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allies. Haj Amin al-Husseini is imprisoned by the French, but eventually escapes to Egypt.
  • Arab League formed to strengthen political, cultural, social, and economic goals of members, and to mediate disputes. Later added military defense coordination.



  • February 18 - Great Britain announces intention to hand the Mandate to the United Nations.
  • September 3 - The majority of the members of UNSCOP, in Chapter VI of its report to UNGA, proposes the partition of Palestine into "an independent Arab State, an independent Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem".[46]
  • November 29 - With a two-thirds majority vote, the UN General Assembly adopts a resolution recommending the adoption and implementation of a plan to partition the British Mandate of Palestine into "Independent Arab and Jewish States" and a "Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem" administered by the United Nations.[47]
  • November 30 - Following the vote on the Partition Plan, Palestinian Arabs react violently and fighting broke out in what became known as the "Civil war".
  • December 2–5 - 1947 Jerusalem riots. The Arab Higher Committee declared a strike and public protest of the vote. Arabs marching to Zion Square on December 2 were stopped by the British, and the Arabs instead turned towards the commercial center of the City where many buildings and shops were attacked. Violence continued for two more days, with Arabs and Jewish attacking each other. 70 Jews and 50 Arabs are killed.
  • December 30 - Haifa Oil Refinery massacre. Irgun militants hurl two bombs into a crowd of Arab workers from a passing vehicle, killing 6 workers and wounding 42, damaging the relative peace between the two groups in Haifa. Later that day the Arab crowd protested and broke into the refinery compound, killing 39 Jews and wounding 49. Skirmishes continued in Haifa and around the region.


  • January 4 - Lehi set off a truck bomb outside Jaffa's Town Hall, killing 26 civilians.
  • January 16 - 35 members of the Haganah killed attempting to carry supplies across country to Kfar Etzion.
  • February 2 - car bombs in Ben Yehuda Street, Jerusalem. 58 Jewish civilians were killed and 140 injured.[48]
  • February 14 - 60 Arab villagers are killed by Palmach at Sa'sa'. Palmach sources report a battle with major casualties.
  • March 27 - 47 members of a Haganah convoy killed near the village of al-Kabri.
  • April 9 - Deir Yassin Massacre. Around 120 fighters from the Irgun Zevai Leumi and Lohamei Herut Israel Zionist paramilitary groups attacked Deir Yassin near Jerusalem, a Palestinian-Arab village of roughly 600 people.IZL-Lehi forces attack Deir Yassin to relieve Arab siege of Jews in Jerusalem. In the aftermath 107 Arabs (mostly villagers) and 4 among the IZL-Lehi forces are killed.
  • April 13 - Hadassah medical convoy massacre. Claimed as retribution for the Deir Yassin massacre, Arab protesters attack a large convoy, mostly of unarmed Jewish doctors, and some military personnel set off carrying patients, equipment, and supplies, travel from Jerusalem to the besieged hospital which treated the majority of Jewish residents in Jerusalem. 79 Jews are killed. Road attacks continue and convoys were unable to reach the hospital for a week.
  • April 22 - Operation Yiftach launched, leading to the conquest of north eastern Galilee between the Lebanese and Syrian frontiers.
  • April 23 - Arab quarters of Haifa taken by the Haganah.
  • May 13 - Kfar Etzion massacre was an act committed by Arab forces, after the surrender of the Jewish village to Arab Legion. Out of 133 Jewish villagers and defenders, 129 were murdered in the massacre,[49] 4 survived. Bodies were left unburied until January 1949. 320 prisoners from the Etzion settlements were taken to the "Jordan POW camp at Mafrak", including 85 women.[50]



  1. Jump up^ "Chapter Two The Seven Years of Herzl"Zionisim – The First 120 YearsJewish Agency. Retrieved 2012-12-27.
  2. Jump up^ Khalidi. Diaspora. p.38
  3. Jump up^ Choueiri, pp.166–168.
  4. Jump up^ UK National Archives CAB 27/24, EC-41.
  5. Jump up^ Memorandum by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Lord Halifax), January 1939, UK National Archives, CAB 24/282, CP 19 (39).
  6. Jump up^ Isaiah Friedman,Palestine: A Twice-Promised Land? The British, the Arabs & Zionism, 1915–1920, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick and London, 2000 vol. 1 pp. 239–40
  7. Jump up^ Eliezer Tauber, The Formation of Modern Iraq and Syria, Routledge, London 1994 pp. 79ff., esp. 96ff.
  8. Jump up to:a b Cmd. 5479, 1937, p. 28.
  9. Jump up to:a b c Cmd. 5479, 1937, p. 29.
  10. Jump up^ Wasserstein, 1991, pp. 59–60.
  11. Jump up to:a b Wasserstein, 1991, p. 60.
  12. Jump up^ The charge was for violating paragraphs 32, 57, and 63 of the Ottoman code, dealing with incitement to riot. See E. Elat Haj Amin el Husseini, Ex Mufti of Jerusalem,Tel Aviv 1968 (page no. required). In his memoirs, Sir Ronald Storrs wrote:'The immediate fomenter of the Arab excesses had been one Haj Amin al-Husseini, the younger brother of Kāmel Effendi, The Mufti. Like most agitators, having incited the man in the street to violence and probable punishment, he fled.' (Sir R. Storrs, Orientations, Nicholson & Watson, London 1945 p. 331: cited also Yehuda Taggar, The Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine Arab Politics 1930–1937, Garland Publishing, 1986 p. ? Ronald Storrs (reprint 1972) The Memoirs of Sir Ronald Storrs Ayer Publishing, ISBN 0-405-04593-X p. 349
  13. Jump up^ A Survey of Palestine - prepared in December 1945 and January 1946 for the information of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry. Reprinted 1991 by the The Institute of Palestine Studies, Washington. Volume 1: ISBN 0-88728-211-3. p.17
  14. Jump up^ Khalidi, Walid (Ed.) (1992) All That Remains. The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. IoPS, Washington. ISBN 0-88728-224-5. p.573
  15. Jump up^ Report of the Commission of Enquiry into the disturbances in Palestine in May, 1921, with correspondence relating thereto (Disturbances), 1921, Cmd. 1540, p. 60.
  16. Jump up to:a b Khalidi. Remains. p.573
  17. Jump up^ Nicosia, Francis R. "Hajj Amin al-Husayni: The Mufti of Jerusalem." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. May 20, 2008. June 17, 2008.
  18. Jump up^ Survey. p.18
  19. Jump up^ Survey. p.19
  20. Jump up^ Survey. p.21
  21. Jump up^ Cmd. 5479, 1937, p. 37.
  22. Jump up^ Survey. pp.21,22
  23. Jump up^ Cmd. 5479, 1937, p. 43.
  24. Jump up^ Survey p.22
  25. Jump up^ Shepherd, Naomi (1999) Ploughing Sand. British Rule in Palestine 1917–1948. John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-5707 0. p.197
  26. Jump up^ Survey. p.22
  27. Jump up^ Segev, Tom (2000). One Palestine, Complete. Metropolitan Books. pp. 314–327. ISBN 0-8050-4848-0.
  28. Jump up^ Survey. p.24
  29. Jump up^ Khalidi. Diaspora. p.90
  30. Jump up^ Survey. p, 30
  31. Jump up^ Survey. pp.31,32
  32. Jump up^ Horne, Edward (1982). A Job Well Done (Being a History of The Palestine Police Force 1920–1948). The Anchor Press. ISBN 0-9508367-0-2. pp.193.194,199
  33. Jump up^ Survey. p.33
  34. Jump up^ Khalidi. Diaspora. p.91
  35. Jump up^ Survey. p.35
  36. Jump up^ Survey. p.37
  37. Jump up^ Khalidi. Remains. p.574
  38. Jump up^ Survey. p.38
  39. Jump up^ William Roger Louis, Ends of British Imperialism: The Scramble for Empire, Suez, and Decolonization, 2006, p.391
  40. Jump up^ Benny Morris, One state, two states:resolving the Israel/Palestine conflict, 2009, p. 66
  41. Jump up^ Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, p. 48; p. 11 "while the Zionist movement, after much agonising, accepted the principle of partition and the proposals as a basis for negotiation"; p. 49 "In the end, after bitter debate, the Congress equivocally approved –by a vote of 299 to 160 – the Peel recommendations as a basis for further negotiation."
  42. Jump up^ [1]
  43. Jump up^ League of Nations Archives
  44. Jump up^ [2]
  45. Jump up^ A/RES/106 (S-1) of 15 May 1947 General Assembly Resolution 106 Constituting the UNSCOP
  46. Jump up^ UNSCOP Report. A/364 d.d. 3 September 1947
  47. Jump up^ A/RES/181(II) of 29 November 1947". United Nations. 1947. Retrieved 30 December 2012
  48. Jump up^ Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, 'O Jerusalem'.History Book Club. 1972. pages 191-195
  49. Jump up^ James Cameron, (British journalist), "The making of Israel", published by Martin Secker & Warburgh Ltd, 1976. SBN 436 08230 6. Page 51. "Seventy Jews were killed, many of them after surrendering, many of them finished off most barbarously by Arab villagers instructed by legionaries."
  50. Jump up^ Moshe Dayan, 'The Story of My Life'. ISBN 0-688-03076-9. Page 130. Out of a total of 670 prisoners released.

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