1834 Arab revolt in Palestine

1834 Arab revolt in Palestine

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The '1834 Arab revolt in Palestine' was a reaction to conscription into the Egypt
Muhammad Ali Dynasty
The Muhammad Ali Dynasty was the ruling dynasty of Egypt and Sudan, from the 19th to the mid-20th Century. It is named after its progenitor, Muhammad Ali Pasha, regarded as the founder of modern Egypt. It was also more formally known as the Alawiyya Dynasty...

ian army by the Wāli Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha was a commander in the Ottoman army, who became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan...

. Ali, as a part of a modernisation policy, began the conscription of ordinary subjects. Traditionally, soldiers were recruited from freebooters, loot-seekers, mercenaries, slaves or members of a military caste. The imposition of a conscription levy led to a revolt in the Egyptian conquered portion of Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria is a European reference to the area that during European Renaissance from the late 15th to early 18th century was called the Levant within the early period of the Ottoman Empire, the Orient until the early 19th century, and Greater Syria until 1918...

, headed by the prominent Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 clans of Nablus
Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

, Hebron
Hebron
Hebron , is located in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judean Mountains, it lies 930 meters above sea level. It is the largest city in the West Bank and home to around 165,000 Palestinians, and over 500 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter...

 and the Jerusalem-Jaffa
Jaffa
Jaffa is an ancient port city believed to be one of the oldest in the world. Jaffa was incorporated with Tel Aviv creating the city of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. Jaffa is famous for its association with the biblical story of the prophet Jonah.-Etymology:...

 area. Baruch Kimmerling
Baruch Kimmerling
Baruch Kimmerling was an Israeli scholar and professor of sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Upon his death in 2007, The Times described him as "the first academic to use scholarship to reexamine the founding tenets of Zionism and the Israeli State"...

 and Joel S. Migdal argue that the 1834 Arab revolt of the Egyptian conquered part of Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria is a European reference to the area that during European Renaissance from the late 15th to early 18th century was called the Levant within the early period of the Ottoman Empire, the Orient until the early 19th century, and Greater Syria until 1918...

 was a formative event, in that it forged a unity among disparate groups against a common enemy: the various classes and clans who fought in it are precisely those that reemerged later to constitute the Palestinian people.

Under the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, the Southern part of Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria is a European reference to the area that during European Renaissance from the late 15th to early 18th century was called the Levant within the early period of the Ottoman Empire, the Orient until the early 19th century, and Greater Syria until 1918...

's Arab population mostly saw themselves as Ottoman subjects. The revolt was sparked off by Ottoman patriotism and sentiment against the heavy demand for conscripts, since the peasantry believed that conscription was little more than a death sentence. Starting in May 1834, the rebels took many cities, among them Nablus, Jerusalem and Hebron. In response, Ibrahim Pasha
Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt
Ibrahim Pasha was the eldest son of Muhammad Ali, the Wāli and unrecognised Khedive of Egypt and Sudan. He served as a general in the Egyptian army that his father established during his reign, taking his first command of Egyptian forces was when he was merely a teenager...

 sent in an army, which on August 4, finally defeated the last rebels holding out in Hebron.

Background


In consolidating his power, Muhammad Ali favoured a style of rule based on autocratic despotism, while taking his model from the organisation of bureaucracy characteristic of modern European states. Like earlier rulers of Egypt, Muhammad Ali desired to exercise control over Bilad al-Sham (Greater Syria), both for its strategic value and for its rich natural resources. Not only did Syria
Greater Syria
Greater Syria , also known simply as Syria, is a term that denotes a region in the Near East bordering the Eastern Mediterranean Sea or the Levant....

 have abundant natural resources, it also boasted a thriving international trading community with well-developed markets. In addition, in his strategy it would be a captive market
Captive market
Captive markets are markets where the potential consumers face a severely limited amount of competitive suppliers; their only choices are to purchase what is available or to make no purchase at all. Captive markets result in higher prices and less diversity for consumers...

 for goods then being produced in Egypt. More importantly, the extension of Egyptian control over Syria was desirable because it would serve as a buffer state
Buffer state
A buffer state is a country lying between two rival or potentially hostile greater powers, which by its sheer existence is thought to prevent conflict between them. Buffer states, when authentically independent, typically pursue a neutralist foreign policy, which distinguishes them from satellite...

 between Egypt and the Ottoman sultan in Constantinople
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

.

A new fleet and army was raised and built, and on October 31, 1831, under Ibrahim Pasha, Ali's eldest son, the Egyptian invasion of Syria began, which initiated in turn the First Turko-Egyptian War. For the sake of international appearances, the pretext for the expedition was a quarrel with Abdullah Pasha of Acre
Acre, Israel
Acre , is a city in the Western Galilee region of northern Israel at the northern extremity of Haifa Bay. Acre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the country....

. Wāli Ali alleged that 6,000 fellah
Fellah
Fellah , also alternatively known as Fallah is a peasant, farmer or agricultural laborer in the Middle East and North Africa...

een
(peasant, farmer or agricultural labourer) had fled to Acre
Acre, Israel
Acre , is a city in the Western Galilee region of northern Israel at the northern extremity of Haifa Bay. Acre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the country....

 to escape the draft, corvée
Corvée
Corvée is unfree labour, often unpaid, that is required of people of lower social standing and imposed on them by the state or a superior . The corvée was the earliest and most widespread form of taxation, which can be traced back to the beginning of civilization...

, and taxes, and he demanded their return. Ibrahim Pasha advanced through Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria is a European reference to the area that during European Renaissance from the late 15th to early 18th century was called the Levant within the early period of the Ottoman Empire, the Orient until the early 19th century, and Greater Syria until 1918...

, occupying Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

 in December 1831, and then using the city as his primary military base.

Declaration of revolt in Nablus



Qasim al-Ahmad, nahiya (clan leader) of Jamma'in
Jamma'in
Jamma'in is a Palestinian town in the northern West Bank located southwest of Nablus, northwest of Salfit and north of Ramallah. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a population of 6,227 in 2007.-History:...

 was appointed as mustasallim (administrator) of the Nablus sub-district by Ibrahim Pasha. Qasim was replaced by 'Abd al-Hadi. Qasim organised the a'ayan (notables) of Nablus, Hebron and Jerusalem and on 19 May 1834, the clans, led by Qasim, notified Egyptian officials that local Southern Syrian
Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria is a European reference to the area that during European Renaissance from the late 15th to early 18th century was called the Levant within the early period of the Ottoman Empire, the Orient until the early 19th century, and Greater Syria until 1918...

 Arab families would no longer furnish the Egyptian army with troops. Governor Ibrahim Pasha
Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt
Ibrahim Pasha was the eldest son of Muhammad Ali, the Wāli and unrecognised Khedive of Egypt and Sudan. He served as a general in the Egyptian army that his father established during his reign, taking his first command of Egyptian forces was when he was merely a teenager...

 responded by sending Egyptian forces into the rebellious cities, thus triggering armed conflict with the clans. Ottoman-aligned Southern Syrian
Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria is a European reference to the area that during European Renaissance from the late 15th to early 18th century was called the Levant within the early period of the Ottoman Empire, the Orient until the early 19th century, and Greater Syria until 1918...

 Arab families in southern Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria is a European reference to the area that during European Renaissance from the late 15th to early 18th century was called the Levant within the early period of the Ottoman Empire, the Orient until the early 19th century, and Greater Syria until 1918...

 revolted under the leadership of Qasim al-Ahmad.

The uprising spread throughout the area known today as the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

. During the revolt, a zealous Muslim denounced Ibrahim Pasha as an infidel and exhorted the population of Nablus to join the uprising. Ibrahim Pasha finally defeated the last rebel stronghold of Hebron on 4 August.

Jerusalem


Nablus sent hundreds of rebels to attack Jerusalem, aided by a Circassian
Adyghe people
The Adyghe or Adygs , also often known as Circassians or Cherkess, are in origin a North Caucasian ethnic groupwho were displaced in the course of the Russian conquest of the Caucasus in the 19th century, especially after the Russian–Circassian War of 1862.Adyghe people mostly speak Adyghe and most...

 clan from Abu Ghosh
Abu Ghosh
Abu Ghosh is an Israeli Arab town in Israel, located west of Jerusalem on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway. It is situated 610–720 meters above sea level. In 2010, it set the Guinness World Record for largest dish of hummus...

, and together they conquered the city on May 31. The Christians and Jews of Jerusalem were subjected to attacks. Ibrahim's Egyptian army routed Qasim's forces in Jerusalem the next month. Nearby Bethlehem's Muslim Quarter was also destroyed by the Egyptian army and its inhabitants disarmed. This move was apparently a punishment for the killing of a favored loyalist of Ibrahim Pasha. Reverend W.M. Thomson wrote "this terrible vengeance failed to quell the turbulent spirit of the people. They are ever distinguished in the great feasts at Jerusalem by their fierce and lawless manners, and if any row occurs they are sure to have a hand in it."

Hebron



An estimated 750 of the town's Muslims had been drafted as soldiers, and some 500 of them were killed. Hebron took part in the rebellion of 1834 in southern Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria is a European reference to the area that during European Renaissance from the late 15th to early 18th century was called the Levant within the early period of the Ottoman Empire, the Orient until the early 19th century, and Greater Syria until 1918...

, and suffered badly from Ibrahim Pasha's campaign to crush the uprising. The town was laid to siege and, when the defences of the town fell, it was sacked by Ibrahim Pasha's army. Most of the Muslim population managed to flee beforehand to the hills. Some of the Jewish community however stayed behind, and, during the general pillage of the town, five of them were killed. The majority however, like most of the Jews of Safed and Tiberias, fled to Jerusalem.

Safed massacre



On June 15, 1834, Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 rioters went on a rampage, massacre 
, mass-rape on Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 in Safed
Safed
Safed , is a city in the Northern District of Israel. Located at an elevation of , Safed is the highest city in the Galilee and of Israel. Due to its high elevation, Safed experiences warm summers and cold, often snowy, winters...

. The pogrom went on for 33 days. It caused the Jewish community to dwindle; many Jews were beaten to death or severely wounded. Accounts tell of blinding men, torturing men and women. It is not clear how many exactly died, but historians assert the number is high, likely over 500.

Aftermath


Once the revolt was crushed, Qasim and his two eldest sons were hanged. The Egyptian army razed 16 villages before taking Nablus. 10,000 felaheen were deported to Egypt and the general population was disarmed. Ibrahim Pasha forced the heads of the Nablus clans to leave for nearby villages.

Turkish rule was subsequently reinstated in 1840, but many Egyptian Muslims remained in Jerusalem.

Hat-I-Sharif of Gulhana
Hatt-i Sharif
The Hatt-i Sharif of Gülhane or Tanzimât Fermânı was an 1839 proclamation by Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid I that launched the Tanzimât period of reforms and reorganization....

 issued by Abdülmecid I
Abdülmecid I
Sultan Abdülmecid I, Abdul Mejid I, Abd-ul-Mejid I or Abd Al-Majid I Ghazi was the 31st Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and succeeded his father Mahmud II on July 2, 1839. His reign was notable for the rise of nationalist movements within the empire's territories...

 lifted the restrictions against non-Muslim subjects of the Ottoman empire as part of the Tanzimat
Tanzimat
The Tanzimât , meaning reorganization of the Ottoman Empire, was a period of reformation that began in 1839 and ended with the First Constitutional Era in 1876. The Tanzimât reform era was characterized by various attempts to modernize the Ottoman Empire, to secure its territorial integrity against...

 (reforms) promising, amongst other things, a reform of conscription.

In the 1840s and 1850s, the international powers began a tug-of-war in southern Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria
Ottoman Syria is a European reference to the area that during European Renaissance from the late 15th to early 18th century was called the Levant within the early period of the Ottoman Empire, the Orient until the early 19th century, and Greater Syria until 1918...

as they sought to extend their protection over the country's religious minorities, a struggle carried out mainly through their consular representatives in Jerusalem.