Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni

Last updated

Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni
عبد القادر الحسيني
Birth nameAbd al-Qadir al-Husayni
Born1907 (1907)
Jerusalem, Ottoman Empire
Died8 April 1948(1948-04-08) (aged 40–41)
al-Qastal, British Palestine
AllegiancePalestine's Arab irregular forces
Service/branch Army of the Holy War
Years of service1936–1948
Battles/wars 1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine
1947–48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine

Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni (Arabic : عبد القادر الحسيني, also spelled Abd al-Qader al-Husseini) (1907 – 8 April 1948) was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and fighter who in late 1933 founded the secret militant group known as the Organization for Holy Struggle (Munathamat al-Jihad al-Muqaddas), [1] [2] which he and Hasan Salama commanded as the Army of the Holy War (Jaysh al-Jihad al-Muqaddas) during the 1936–39 Arab revolt and during the 1948 war.

Palestinian nationalism national movement of the Palestinian people

Palestinian nationalism is the national movement of the Palestinian people for self-determination in and sovereignty over Palestine. Originally formed in opposition to Zionism, Palestinian nationalism later internationalized and attached itself to other ideologies. Thus it has rejected the historic occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel and the non-domestic Arab rule by Egypt over the Gaza Strip and Jordan over the West Bank.

Hasan Salama Palestinian commander

Hasan Salama or Hassan Salameh was a commander of the Palestinian Holy War Army in the 1948 Palestine War along with Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni.

Army of the Holy War Palestinian Arab paramilitary force

The Army of the Holy War or Holy War Army was a Palestinian Arab irregular force in the 1947-48 Palestinian civil war led by Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni and Hasan Salama. The force has been described as Husayni's "personal" army. The Arab League set up the Arab Salvation Army as a counter to the Army of the Holy War and as part of its plan to contain the Palestinian Arab leadership and to prevent it from exercising independent political or military options, although in practice the Arab governments prevented thousands of volunteers from joining either force.


Family and early nationalist career

Abd al-Qadir's wedding photograph, 1934 Abdul Khader Wedding.jpg
Abd al-Qadir's wedding photograph, 1934

Husayni was born to the influential al-Husayni family of Jerusalem, son of Musa al-Husayni and the nephew of Amin al-Husayni. He graduated in chemistry at the American University in Cairo, and organized the Congress of Educated Muslims.

Jerusalem City in the Middle East

Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.

Musa al-Husayni Palestinian politician, mayor of Jerusalem and head of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Arab Congress (1853–1934)

Musa Kazim Pasha al-Husayni held a series of senior posts in the Ottoman administration. He belonged to the prominent al-Husayni family and was mayor of Jerusalem (1918–1920). He was dismissed as mayor by the British authorities and became head of the nationalist Executive Committee of the Palestine Arab Congress from 1922 until 1934. His death was believed to have been caused by injuries received during an anti-British demonstration.

The Congress of Educated Muslims was founded by Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni in the early 1930s to fight discrimination against Palestinian Arabs in government services.

Initially, he took a post in the settlement department of the British Mandate government, but eventually moved to the Hebron area during the 1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine to lead the struggle against the British. A member of the Palestine Arab Party, he served as its secretary-general and became editor-in-chief of the party's paper Al-Liwa’ [3] and other newspapers, including Al-Jami’a Al-Islamiyya.

Mandatory Palestine A former geopolitical entity in Palestine occupied from the Ottoman Empire in WW1 aiming to creat the conditions for the establishment of national home to the Jewish People. Ceased to exist with the establishment of the Jewish State -  Israel

Mandatory Palestine was a geopolitical entity established between 1920 and 1923 in the region of Palestine as part of the Partition of the Ottoman Empire under the terms of the British Mandate for Palestine.

Hebron City in Hebron Governorate

Hebron is a Palestinian city located in the southern West Bank, 30 km (19 mi) south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judaean Mountains, it lies 930 meters (3,050 ft) above sea level. The largest city in the West Bank, and the second largest in the Palestinian territories after Gaza, it has a population of 215,452 Palestinians (2016), and between 500 and 850 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter. Jews, Christians, and Muslims all venerate the city of Hebron for its association with Abraham – it includes the traditional burial site of the biblical Patriarchs and Matriarchs, within the Cave of the Patriarchs. Judaism ranks Hebron as the second-holiest city after Jerusalem, while some Muslims regard it as one of the four holy cities.

The Palestinian Arab Party was a political party in Palestine established by the influential Husayni family in May 1935. Jamal al-Husayni was the founder and chairman. Emil Ghuri was elected general secretary until the end of the British Mandate in 1947. Other leaders of the party included Saed al-dean Al-Aref, Rafiq al-Tamimi, Tawfiq al-Husayni, Anwar al-Khatib, Kamil al-Dajani, and Yusuf Sahyun.

Abd al-Qadir married in 1934 and fathered Faisal al-Husayni (17 July 1940 – 31 May 2001), the founder and leader of Arab Studies Society, head of Fatah organization in the West Bank and Palestinian Authority Minister for Jerusalem Affairs.

Faisal Abdel Qader Al-Husseini was a Palestinian politician who was considered a possible future leader of the Palestinian people.

Fatah major Palestinian political party

Fatah, formerly the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, is a Palestinian nationalist political party and the largest faction of the confederated multi-party Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the second-largest party in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). The President of the Palestinian Authority is a member of Fatah.

West Bank Part of the Palestinian territories near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia

The West Bank is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bordered by Jordan to the east and by the Green Line separating it and Israel on the south, west and north. The West Bank also contains a significant section of the western Dead Sea shore. The West Bank was the name given to the territory that was captured by Jordan in the aftermath of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and subsequently annexed in 1950 until 1967 when it was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War.

Battle of al-Qastal

In 1938, Husayni was exiled and in 1939 fled to Iraq where he took part in the Rashid Ali al-Gaylani coup. He moved to Egypt in 1946, but secretly returned to Palestine to lead the Army of the Holy War in January 1948. Husayni was killed while personally reconnoitring an area of Qastal Hill shrouded by fog, in the early hours of 8 April 1948. [4] His forces later captured al-Qastal from the Haganah, which had occupied the village at the start of Operation Nachshon six days earlier with a force of about 100 men. [5] They retreated to the Jewish settlement of Motza. [6] Palmach troops recaptured the village on the night of 8–9 April, losing 18 men in the attack; [7] most of the houses were blown up and the hill became a command post. [8] [9] Huseyni's death was a factor in the loss of morale among his forces. [10]

Iraq republic in Western Asia

Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, and largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism and Mandeanism also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.

Egypt Country spanning North Africa and Southwest Asia

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.

Haganah was a Jewish paramilitary organization in the British Mandate of Palestine (1921–48), which became the core of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Kfar Etzion Place in Judea and Samaria Area

Kfar Etzion is an Israeli settlement and a religious kibbutz located in the Judean Hills between Jerusalem and Hebron in the southern West Bank, established in 1927, depopulated in 1948 and re-established in 1967. It is located 4.7 km from the Green Line west of the Separation Barrier and falls under the jurisdiction of Gush Etzion Regional Council. In 2017, Kfar Etzion had a population of 1,145.

Sheikh Jarrah

Sheikh Jarrah is a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, 2 kilometers north of the Old City, on the road to Mount Scopus. It received its name from the 13th-century tomb of Sheikh Jarrah, a physician of Saladin, located within its vicinity. The modern neighborhood was founded in 1865 and gradually became a residential center of Jerusalem's Muslim elite, particularly the al-Husayni family. After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, it straddled the no-man's land area between Jordanian-held East Jerusalem and Israeli-held West Jerusalem until the neighborhood was occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. It is currently the center of a number of property disputes between Palestinians and Israelis. Most of its present Palestinian population is said to come from refugees expelled from Jerusalem's Talbiya neighbourhood in 1948.

See also


  1. Swedenburg, 1999, p. 150
  2. Sayigh, 2000, p. 35
  3. Levenberg, 1993, p. 6.
  4. Morris, 2008, p.123.
  5. Morris, 2003, p. 234.
  6. Dana Adams Schmidt, 'Arabs Win Kastel But Chief is Slain', New York Times , 9 April 1948, p. 8 (A brief biography and account of the battle).
  7. "דף הבית". Archived from the original on 1 June 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  8. Benveniśtî, 2002, p.111.
  9. Morris, 2003, p. 235.
  10. Time Magazine, War for Jerusalem Road

Related Research Articles

Amin al-Husseini Palestinian Arab nationalist and Muslim leader

Mohammed Amin al-Husseini was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and Muslim leader in Mandatory Palestine.

Al-Qastal, Jerusalem Village in Jerusalem, Mandatory Palestine

Al-Qastal was a Palestinian village located eight kilometers west of Jerusalem named for a Crusader castle located on the hilltop. Used as a military base by the Army of the Holy War, the village was captured by the Palmach in the lead up to the Arab-Israeli War and depopulated of its residents.

Operation Nachshon military operation

Operation Nachshon was a Jewish military operation during the 1948 war. Lasting from 5–16 April 1948, its objective was to break the Siege of Jerusalem by opening the Tel-Aviv – Jerusalem road blockaded by Palestinian Arabs and to supply food and weapons to the isolated Jewish community of Jerusalem. The operation was also known as "The operation to take control of the Jerusalem road,", following which participating units later broke-off to form the Harel Brigade.

Raghib al-Nashashibi Jordanian politician

Raghib al-Nashashibi (1881–1951), CBE (hon), was a wealthy landowner and public figure during the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate and the Jordanian administration. He was a member of the Nashashibi clan, one of the most influential families in Palestine, and mayor of Jerusalem from 1920 to 1934.

1947–1948 civil war in Mandatory Palestine

The 1947–1948 civil war in Mandatory Palestine was the first phase of the 1948 Palestine war. It broke out after the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution on 29 November 1947 recommending the adoption of the Partition Plan for Palestine.

al-Husayni clan family

Husayni is the name of a prominent Palestinian Arab clan formerly based in Jerusalem, which claims descent from Husayn ibn Ali.

Muhammad Nimr al-Hawari palestinian politician

Muhammad Nimr al-Hawari was a Nazareth-born Palestinian who studied law in Jerusalem, graduating in 1939. al-Hawari served in the British Mandate administration as chief interpreter in the district court of Jaffa and chairman of the Association of Government second-division officers. He was transferred to Haifa where he resigned his government position in 1942. On his resignation he returned to practising law in Jaffa. al-Hawari started his career as a devoted follower of Amin al-Husseini but broke with the influential Husseini family in the early 1940s. al-Hawari during the termination of the British mandate commanded al-Najjada, a paramilitary scout movement. al-Hawari was in command of the militia in the defence of Jaffa until he fled in late December 1947. Morris comments that al-Hawari may also have been an Haganah Intelligence Service (HIS) informant. al-Hawari had met and did discuss an agreement for Jaffa with Ezra Danin. Fearing assassination by the Husseinis, al-Hawari fled from Jaffa to Ramallah in December 1947. al-Hawari together with ‘Aziz Shihada a lawyer from Ramallah opened an office in the West Bank for refugee affairs. Hawari was allowed to return to Israel and was later appointed judge in the district court of Nazareth.

al-Najjada was a Palestinian Arab paramilitary scout movement formed in Jaffa, British Mandate of Palestine on 8 December 1945. The organisation was headed by Muhammad Nimr al-Hawari as General Commander and Rashad al-Dabbagh as Secretary General. The al-Najjada HQ was on Railway Station Street Jaffa. Its officers were mainly Arabs who had served in the British Army. During the lead into the 1948 war its membership numbered 2,000 to 3,000 but the organisation lacked arms. The Great revolt 1936-1939 led to an imbalance of power between the Jewish community and the Arab community, as the latter had been substantially disarmed. The British had estimated al-Najjada strength as 8,000 prior to 1947.

Hussein al-Husayni Palestinian politician

Hussein Bey al-Husayni was mayor of Jerusalem from 1909 to 1917, the last years of Ottoman rule over the city.

Mordechai Gazit was a retired Israeli diplomat. He served as an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir., ambassador to France, and as Director-General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Castel National Park

Castel National Park is an Israeli national park, which consists of a fortified summit in the Judean Mountains, at the site of the former Arab village of Al-Qastal, known to Hebrew-speakers as HaCástel, "the Cástel". It is located 8 km west of Jerusalem on the road linking it to Tel Aviv.

1948 in Mandatory Palestine Palestine-related events during the year of 1948

Events in the year 1948 in the British Mandate of Palestine.

Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Wikimedia list article

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem is the Sunni Muslim cleric in charge of Jerusalem's Islamic holy places, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The position was created by the British military government led by Ronald Storrs in 1918. Since 2006 it has been held by Muhammad Hussein.

Arab Higher Committee

The Arab Higher Committee or the Higher National Committee was the central political organ of the Arab Palestinians in Mandatory Palestine. It was established on 25 April 1936, on the initiative of Haj Amin al-Husayni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and comprised the leaders of Palestinian Arab clans and political parties under the mufti's chairmanship. The Committee was outlawed by the British Mandatory administration in September 1937 after the assassination of a British official.

This is a timeline of intercommunal conflict in Mandatory Palestine.